It was an interesting program. I agree on Curt's ability to deflect tough questions. He is a good speaker and has mastered the politician skills. I was struck though with the occurence of double speak. Case in point, the department uses catch record data in its models. It acknowledges this data is often biased but "bad data is better than no data". When asked why the dept. dropped the C and R portion of the catch cards, the response was "the data is bad so we can't use it". There were other instances of this as well.
I did get two gems out of his talk though. First, for the first time, I heard him making an argument for maximum recreation as opposed to MSY. He was not embracing it but was acknowledging that there is value in the fishery that does not result from harvest.
The second thing was his data on repeat Skagit spawners (13%). Last time I checked, a bonked fish not only cannot spawn in the current year but not the year after either. What I getting at here is that catch and kill fisheries for native fish last year are impacting the returns for this year.
I think the repeat spawner issue will be important as well should it come to a legal review of "foregone opportunity". The ability to spawn again separates steelhead from salmon and at least in my mind, renders returns in excess of MSY valuable rather than wasted.