Most of the rivers have mandatory release simply because the health of stocks has declined to the point where WDFW cannot justify it. Unless it is changed in the last year, the emergency release regulations are emergency restrictions only. This may have changed as I know Curt was trying to get it so last year.
Regardless, the North Sound rivers were deemed to have healthy stocks (and thus harvest) right up until the emergency closures in the fall of '01. At that time, the health of the stocks was determined to be so poor that they could not even withstand the incidental impacts of a CnR fishery.
While I do not believe that harvest is the "great satan" in declining runs, it is surely a lesser one. As the Sky, Stilly, Sauk and Skagit runs try and fight their way back to recovery, I can only imagine that the decendants of all the harvested fish from the "healthy" years would be a welcome addition.
As for driving a wedge, maybe in the short run. Look at how Idaho and BC sport fishers have embraced CnR. They won't stay mad for long.
Last edited by sinktip; 02-09-2004 at 06:15 PM.