Governor requests disaster funds for salmon fishermen

Governor requests disaster funds for salmon fishermen
CHARLESTON, Ore. -The 2010 Commercial Salmon Season was a toss up to begin with, but despite an earnest effort on behalf of local fishermen, the numbers just weren't there. Now, Governor Ted Kulongoski has requested yet again, that the season be declared a disaster.

Considered a failure from the South of Cape Falcon and on, Vice Chair of the Oregon Salmon Commission, Jeff Reeves says they requested the Governor's assistance, for disaster relief funds.

Coming off a no season last year, Reeves says they knew still, the numbers were going to be low, with the Pacific Fisheries Management Council not wanting to impact the Sacramento River Chinook.

"We didn't feel the fish would be there bust most of us felt like you couldn't say, 'Hey no, we don't want to fish,' that sounds ludicrous," said Reeves. "But we tossed the dice and we lost. Hopefully some funds will be made available to try and keep the fleet going."

Reeves says the fishermen who braved the seas this season took a big hit, coming up with empty nets and empty pockets.

"You know, just to put it in numbers, the guys put $20,000 into their boats and didn't even gross $5,000 or $6,000 back. The fleet is crumbling, so this is a potential lifeline."

Last year, fishermen received 42% of projected revenue, in disaster relief funds Reeves says it's now up to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to sign off, at the request of the Governor.

California has filed for a fishery disaster as well.