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Emergency Declared as Salmon Fishing Season Closes in California

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Aired 4/19/09

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in California in response to the closure of salmon fishing season along the West Coast. The decision was made Thursday by the Pacific Fishery Management Council .

California Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman says it’s affecting one of the largest and oldest industries in Northern California.

Chrisman : We estimated the loss to the California economy to be about $255 million and a loss of almost 2,300 jobs.

The Council adopted a complete closure of commercial and sport Chinook fisheries off California and most of Oregon. It's because of a sudden unprecedented decline of salmon returning to the Sacramento River this year.

The decision must still be adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service .   In his emergency declaration, the governor directed the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to activate loan programs to help those affected by the shut-down.

He’s also written a letter to the president seeking federal disaster assistance.

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