I agree with Smalma that C and R is just a managment tool -- due to hooking mortality it's still an impact like whacking a wild fish, only less of one. But releasing wild fish cannot be seen as the answer to what ails steelhead by any means. C and R does not cure trashed habitat and polluted estuaries, does not eliminate clearcutting, drought, gravel mining, dams, netting, shoreline development, du pont spinners, poaching, road sedimentation, heavy metals, mill and smelter waste, etc. Yet some preach C and R as gospel, even though it's just another impact on the fish. Note that California, Oregon and Idaho wild steehead runs are not faring any better and lots in B.C are hurting too. There is a C and R double standard re steelhead vs. coho and chinook. Many who would never kill a wild steelhead have no compunctions about whacking a king or silver. A guy who legally kills a wild steelhead now and again is not a criminal. Objectively, stopping half the poaching on every river would have a bigger impact than requiring wild release on the few rivers where it's legal. And I do believe Mr. Freymond is right about that system's status, despite the wild component in Dec.-Jan., which might never have been huge. Recall that in my old man's early days before hatchery plants, few angler's really started steelheading until Jan-Feb. You can look that up in Enos Bradner's book Fish On (1968, I believe).