Back when I first started in front-line management of salmon the goal was achievement of the escapement goal. If the numbers did not show harvestable fish there was no fishery. If the numbers did not show enough fish to cover incidental harvest there was no directed fishery.

That has now morphed into "share the catch". Say that in order to have an ocean sport fishery that 100 Hoh coho will be taken. To balance things, 100 will also be taken in the river by the tribes. What is most important, now, is to craft fisheries that balance catch (first goal).

After a contentious fishing season when Hood Canal coho (at one time a primary stock controlling ocean fisheries) failed to meet goal (again), the WDFW manager noted that "We had a pre-season plan, we all followed it, management was successful".

You just need to set goals that are achievable. So, Doc, your surgery goal is to perform 10 operations per week. Success is doing that. It's not the results, it's the process.