Rivrguy lamented that PFMC and PSC used to actually protect the fish, yet nowadays, they seem hell-bent on destroying them. Ultimately, the members of the PFMC answer to their superiors. Much like that of the WDFW Director, just who those superiors are is not openly stated, largely because those superiors aren't supposed to influence executive decisions (at least not in ways that are publicly understood). Their superiors receive a lot of political contributions from commercial interests, and that's why they "motivate" the PFMC to protect those interests first.

So why wasn't it apparent in the old days Rivrguy referred to? Simple. The salmon stocks were still healthy enough to support liberal commercial fisheries, sport fisheries, tribal fisheries, and conservation goals, so no commercial influence in the management process was necessary. Now that the resource is less abundant, competition for allocation motivates the commercial industry to donate to the folks who make the real decisions, who, in turn, seed the PFMC with like-minded people, thereby assuring maximum allocation to commercial fisheries. These days, that isn't leaving enough for the gravel. Instead of doing what they should to protect the fish, they use the tools at their disposal to justify reductions in escapement. It's bull$hit science, but because nobody's interested in funding better science (the only people with the money to do that are the ones perpetuating the status quo), it's still the best available.

I firmly believe that, if sport fishermen and the fish are ever to get a day in court, it will be because sport fishermen came together to out-contribute the commercial interests. We do have the money; trouble is, we keep investing it in fishing gear and licenses to participate in increasingly poor fishing opportunities. Include me in that; I just want to go fishing, so I keep sticking my fingers in f4b's proverbial socket, year after year.