So after reading through a lot of analysis in this thread was there any consensus as to why the escapement just sank like a 8 oz ball in a kiddie pool?

Those numbers are extra puzzling because with the changes mandated for water releases on the N Fk Skok like 10 or more years ago, which is prime spawning habitat, and with the additional estuary created with the reflooding of diked farmland, one would think that river should be choked with fish.