NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday awarded a $3.9 million grant to the Pacific fishing store Pacu Fish and Tackle for fishing operations in the Chugach, Alaska, and Chugatog fishing villages.
The grant, which is part of the $5.9 billion federal stimulus, will be used for “a comprehensive fish rehabilitation program and habitat restoration programs for Chinook salmon, bluegill and herring, and redfish,” according to a release from the agency.
The Pacu Fishing Store is owned by a group of family members, including its president, Jim Fish, and his wife, Lyle.
Jim Fish has been the chairman of the Fish and Game Commission since January 2015.
The company was awarded the $3,200 grant in November and the company will work with the U.N. and the Alaska Department of Fish and Games to implement it, according to the release.
In addition to the fish rehabilitation, Pacu is hoping to restore native fish populations in Chinook, Bluegill, and herrings, the release said.
The program is expected to have an impact on the communities of around 2,000 Chinook and herrling.
In the Chuga region, Chinook bluegills, which were once abundant, are being driven out by fishing and commercial activities, the U,S.
Geological Survey said in a March 2015 report.
The area has lost up to 50 percent of its bluegilled habitat.
The report also found that Chinook herring are also disappearing.
The Chuga, Alaska population was about 25,000 in the late 1970s.
S Sabine River Basin National Wildlife Refuge covers nearly 6,000 square miles, including the waters of the Chugsak River and the Sabine-Riverside watershed.
The Chugsack River flows through the refuge, where fish are found in the wild.