Budget Cuts at Fishing Agency lead to Staffing Reductions

    KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Officials say budget cuts at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have reduced staffing in the commercial fishing division and caused slashes to smaller fishery programs.

    The Peninsula Clarion reports the state has cut the department's general fund by more than 36 percent since 2015, leading to an approximately 6 percent cut for the state Division of Commercial Fisheries.

    Division Director Scott Kelley on Thursday outlined the agency's budget to the House Finance Subcommittee on Fish and Game.

    Kelley says staffing has been reduced by about 11 percent since fiscal year 2015, causing the division to limit personnel on weirs and other projects.

    Kelley says the division also has cut smaller fisheries like herring in order to limit cuts to the lucrative salmon fisheries.

    More from News of the North

    Current Conditions

    Crude Oil Price