Targeted adult salmon disappearing is not a puzzle. Coho and chinook harvest rates are too high and too many go to Alaska and Canada on our dime. Escapement count is low in the remaining fish and most get discarded at our hatcheries, shorted from spawning. Harvest rates are very low here. With so little escapement what we do is meaningless. Our management plan starts short and ends short.
Natural spawning was better years ago as our managers have now allowed inland netting to trim too many and has not been redeveloped. Hatchery fish get inferior status and many are “actors” claimed to be wild. Future natural spawning fish will have a little hatchery gene in them. Claims that an actual recovery has started are discriminate. Losses told us for decades that salmon are in bad shape. National Marine Fisheries Service never had the right direction to start with. A selection of management decisions alone has killed an iconic resource and moved further from helping it back. Giving money, planning projects, and having dams removed and still there’s no fish will prove salmon cannot stay with us. Such dictated policies will be met by failure.
Larry R. Carey