Continued optimism regarding the status and productivity of salmonid runs on the Oregon coastal rivers and the Columbia River is unwarranted given the following data from NOAA Fisheries regarding ocean productivity, contradicting what WDFW and Idaho are claiming regarding the good upcoming ocean conditions that justify allowing a continued fishery on steelhead in the Columbia this summer/fall.
Ongoing optimism by Oregon and Washington regarding salmonid runs in annual forecasts and the inevitable adjustments in the fisheries in 2016 and 2017 is unacceptable and irresponsible. Ocean conditions are revealing the 2nd or 3rd lowest survival for juvenile coho and Chinook in first year at sea in the past 20 years.
The lack of conservation and recovery protection of wild salmon and steelhead has been a consequence of this annual miscalculation. It is apparent that the primary concern of the fishery management institutions is harvest and fees, not conservation. The ODFW and Commission have to recognize the problem of ocean productivity and manage fisheries for protection rather than consumption.