You posted, ". . . no matter what I say half the board jumps down my throat..."
That's not true. It's only because of what you do choose to say, and it is invariably extreme, not grounded in reality, along with implying that everyone else should go along with your judgement and values. That ain't the way the world works. So much of what you write is so far off base that people simply dismiss you. That's on you, not them.
Then you posted a good example: ". . . Curt increasing escapement goals is more about putting expectation on human behavior in regards to the fish we have left and their habitat not the capability of our rivers in their current condition.
The only things that humans can control is their behavior.. all the other factors are outside of our control. Humans have to modify their behavior if steelhead are to persist. If we are unwilling to change then all the money and effort we are spending to solve these problems and paying for people to study such things is a complete waste of time.."
Your first paragraph simply doesn't make sense, so I'll stop there. In your second paragraph you equate the persistence of steelhead to something approaching near pristine habitat conditions and population levels. It looks like you have an "all or nothing" attitude. Go ahead, but don't be surprised when people dismiss you for expressing it. I have no illusion of ever restoring steelhead populations to what they were in 1850 or even 1950. I'm confident that PS steelhead populations would be viable enough to persist well into the foreseeable future under habitat and population conditions that existed in the 1980s. We need to restore habitat productivity and capacity to the extent practicable mainly to ensure persistence through periods of low marine survival like we've seen in recent years.
About the only place we agree is that steelhead are more important than steelhead fishing. To that end I support not fishing for steelhead when fishing would reduce the population abundance. I'm not opposed to using natural resources for human benefits. That includes hunting and fishing, to the extent that those activities don't deplete the resource. So we totally diverge when you suggest that no one should kill a steelhead even if population abundance is 1000% of the escapement goal. When you write that, you appear remarkably ignorant and uninformed about natural resource population dynamics, or animal husbandry of any sort. BTW, do you feel the same way about deer, elk, grouse, ducks, and geese? But feel free to go ahead and not fish; I'm OK with that. For you. Not for me.
Hmmmmmmmm. You don't know what you are talking about.
I've followed this thread from the start and think I understand everything that's been stated.
Two observations, assuming our objective (WDFW's objective) is to rebuild wild steelhead runs:
1) Rob is correct on everything he's stated, it's mostly pipe dreams but nonetheless he's right.
2) There is no "real" plan or strategy to rebuild wild steelhead runs today! WDFW can't succeed with their current constraints.
and a third observation, most of us want to fish and will do whatever we can to have the opportunity.
Quick, non-butthurting question here: can someone point me in the direction of some resources to help me understand what needs to be done in terms of habitat restoration? Everyone is all, Habitat Restoration! and I'm all, shit, what does that mean exactly? Total noob question, I know, but whatevs.
Now, RESUME THE INSANITY.