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California in Brief / SACRAMENTO

Gov. seeks aid after salmon ban

April 12, 2008|Eric Bailey

With federal regulators canceling this year's salmon fishing season off California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency and asked the Bush administration to aid the embattled coastal industry.

The governor issued a proclamation and dispatched a letter to President Bush asking help in obtaining federal disaster assistance. Meanwhile, he signed a bill by state Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) to fund $5.3 million in restoration projects for salmon and steelhead.

"California's salmon runs are a treasured state resource and provide significant contributions to our economy and our environment," Schwarzenegger said in a statement, adding that the state and federal governments need to step up quickly to help the industry "cope with the devastating economic impacts."

The California Department of Fish and Game estimates that the state could face a $255-million economic hit and lose more than 2,000 jobs because of the closure, which shuts down both the commercial and recreational fleets.

--Eric Bailey

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