Deteriorating salmon runs in Alaska.

Deteriorating salmon runs across Alaska's Cook Inlet have led to unprecedented restrictions on commercial and sport fishing -- a scary reality in a state where salmon are the cornerstone of an ecosystem and a point of pride.

Video shot by Ariel Wittenberg. Editing and production by Chris Farmer.


Text slide: Summer is salmon season in Alaska.

Video clip: Salmon jump in the river..

Text slide: But on the Kenai River, poor salmon runs have forced limits on all kinds of fishing this year.

Video clip: "Waters closed to fishing" sign on the river.

Text slide: The Ninilchik Village Tribe had to shut down its net a week earlier than usual this summer.

Video clip: Fisherman collects fish from net.

Text slide: The tribe uses the net to fish for over 100 people, many of whom cannot fish for themselves.

Video clip: A fishman passes salmon to another on a boat. Salmon are placed into a bin.

Text clip: Dismal salmon runs across Alaska's Cook Inlet have affected commercial and sport fishing as well. And those effects are felt throughout the economy.

Video clip: A Woman feeds her dogs fresh salmon.

Video clip: Salmon in a bin.

Text clip: The issue is on the ballot this year, with a measure that would require regulators to assume all waterways are migratory fish habitat.

Text clip: That would force developers to get a permit or prove there are no fish in streams or wetlands they might impact.