Salmon Conservation Glossary, March 14, 2011

Salmon Conservation Terms to know and love……..

Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, March 14, 2011

Introduction:  Lots of band-width lately on the topic of wild fish conservation. “There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief, there’s too much confusion, can’t get no relief” ——- so what the hey, my brain feels like I’m gonna explode.  How can anyone make sense of all the trash talk.  Yes, trash talk.  Factoids and figureoids and statistical relavancies and hyperbolic stock rectuitment relationships and no one to sort out which Boomer is the real Boomer and is Starbuck really the angel of destruction?

Never fear.  Here is Nicholas’  official salmon conservationist’s conservation glossary.  These terms are defined by me, personally, based on the truth, the best available rumor, and pure speculation.  Any disagreement with the views expressed here will be a relief.  Any agreement will be retrospected severely and such agreeable persons shall be sent to Triangle Lake to fish for Bluegill with K-7 Kwikfish.

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Alleged surplus: the fish management (in Oregon, naturally, this means ODFW) agency knows darn well that there will not be enough salmon, steelhead, or carp to allow any fishery whatsoever, so it issues inflated run size predictions to justify said fishery.  This is  transparent naughtiness that creates declining baseboards and leads rather quickly to failed Iraq exit strategies.

Backroom deals:  all management decisions by state and federal fish agencies are sweetheart, good-old-boy horse-trades.  They (the management decisions) also smell bad.

Best available sciencemy science.

Collusion: insider trading, a common practice for all bureaucrats employed by state and federal fish agencies.

Credible information: a) believable, truthful, immaculate certainty; and b)  any information that supports a specific stakeholder or user group’s self interest and value system.

Crimes against the planet:  any fish management decisions/policies contrary to one’s value/belief systems.  See also best available science.  Note here that salmon, steelhead, trout, and carp management decisions by state and federal agencies constitute more egregious misdeeds than child slavery, starvation,  torture, and genocide around the world.  Worse than hanging chads too.  What would the world look like today if Big Al had been elected Prez?

Denials: all press releases, reports, and interviews issued by government fish managers are essentially denials of stuff that anyone knows to be true, and is not based on the best available science.

Declining baseline:  This occurs when one hires an inept carpenter to install carpet, wood, or such floor covering and is unable to get the baseboard parallel to the ceiling. Which should be easy to do but is not achieved, thusly creating the appearance that one has had too much to drink or is ready for the funny farm.

Ohhhhhhh.  Sorry, you meant baseline not baseboard.  A declining baseline is created by slyly adjusting downward any salmon escapement goal or estimate of salmon production potential.  This practice has resulted in state and federal fish agencies asserting that a run of 26.5 chinook salmon to the Columbia River basin would create a dangerous “over-escapement” and depress survival because of density-dependent mortality as predicted by a Reagan Stock Exchange Equation.

Desperate attempt: this describes practically any policy or action by a fish management agency to do anything.  These bureaucrats are so inept that they commonly resort to “desperate” attempts to complete such ordinary things as putting on shoes, making coffee, walking, answering the phone, or explaining why they have plotted the extinction of native wild salmon and steelhead populations throughout the region.

Documented evidence:  we know there is a clever conspiracy behind the vast majority of state and federal fish agency’s decisions; fortunately, there is documented evidence of this.

Dubious escapement goal: whatever the goal, it is obviously wrong, the books were cooked  to come up with this goal, which is either too high or too low, depending on your point of view.

ESA: Especially Suspicious Act.  This is a federal law that was established to a) steal property, wealth and suchsoever from private property owners; b) create the false impression that salmon, steelhead, tweety birds, salamanders and jock rash are likely to exceed the ocean’s productive capacity; c) keep fish biologists, lawyers,  and trust fund hippies employed; d) increase federal funding for NOAA; e) justify spending zillions of dollars on hatcheries; f) encourage offshore oil leases.  Sorry, I thought this was a multiple choice exam.

Escapement predictions:  the likelihood that any policy or management decision by a state or federal fish agency will escape moral criticism: specifically,   zero.

Extinction:  no more salmon, steelhead, trout, carp or whatever.  Extinction as planned by fish management agencies will be achieved in the immediate future, eventually, and might be actual or virtual extinction.

Failed management: any action that fails to do what it was supposed to do.  This is a tricky concept, because every fish management agency intends to act in collusion, fail to use the best available science, and achieve at least virtual extinction.  Get it?  if the goal is to do something bad but the agency fails to achieve badness, does it follow that it achieves goodness, uses best available science (if only by ineptitude), or so on?  Dude, is this like  a double negative?

Gross negligence:  any action by any state or federal fish management agency; a deliberate boo-boo.

Management failure: see Policy failure:  more stupidity and ineptitude going on here.

Misguided regulations:  these regulations will cause a calamity and the opposite result from the stated outcome.  Misguided regulations elicit less serious consequences than unthinkable alternatives or extinction, usually.

Mismanagement:  really really stupid actions, plus quite possibly some obfuscation to save face.

NOAA:  Acronym for a federal agency that is Not Ordinarily Accountable for actually recovering depleted and estranged Pacific salmon species.  The principal function of NOAA is to produce brochures and convene scientific woodworking panels and solicit public comment on the global climate initiative.

ODFW:  Oregon Department of Fish And Wildlife.  This state agency, modeled after the even worse WDFW, is charged with the responsibility to mismanage salmon, steelhead, and wildlife, so help me, until they are all gone bye-bye and we have only hatchery propagated anchovies to fly fish for.  Personally, I am tying anchovy flies this week, just to be ready.

Premeditated:  planned in advance.  State and federal fish management agencies are committed to premeditated implementation of failed management, collusion, gross negligence, and installing declining baseboards.  Government minions gather at their offices, feed from the public hog-trough, and make detailed plans regarding how to mess with someone’s heart, soul, and livelihood.  Every day, folks, it’s just how it is: premeditated.

Policy failure:  The agency messed up and made a stupid choice, sold out to the Legislature/Congress, or tried to save its ass.

Prudent management: action that supports one’s personal value/belief system.

Run size predictions:  A government assertion regarding the number of salmon, steelhead, trout, or carp that is expected to return from the ocean in a given year.  This number is predictably (ha ha) falsely represented as far higher or far lower than any sensible person knows to be the truth, depending (of course) on one’s value/belief systems.  For example, sometimes the government grossly overstates the number of salmon that will return from the sea, simply so as to permit fishers to drive the species, run, and so on, to extinction (see for example, immediate extinction).  Otherwise, the government will grossly understate the actual number of salmon that it knows darn-well that will return from the sea, for the diabolical purpose of bankrupting the good people who depend on fishing for their livelihoods, thus increasing incidents of domestic violence, alcoholism, drug use, hatchery budgets, and general societal despair.

Sacrifice river:  a river where one’s value systems are not being implemented fully.

The greatest management blunder in modern historySee crimes against the planet.

Unthinkable alternative: this will lead to the end of the world as we know it.  Cover the children’s eyes.  Head for the bomb shelter.  Kiss yer ass bye-bye.

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Post Script

Sorry, dear friends; I just couldn’t help myself.   No intention of trivializing the genuine conservation challenges wild Pacific salmon face.  Just sick to the heart of seeing people eye-poking and overdramatizing.  If everything is the biggest-baddest crisis, where do we start to right the wrongs?

In a world where there is injustice and pain and suffering that far exceeds society’s willingness to “right,” how should we treat our rivers, our fish, our air, our recreation, and our human relationships?

War and mortal combat, has been the norm in many parts of the world, extending back decades, generations, millennia.  Time to leave the past in the past, and fix what we can of what we have left today.  If we can’t do it with our squabbles over fish management, wild salmon, hatchery salmon, protecting our rivers – – – what hope is there for us as we move forward in a world on the razor’s edge.

Pink Floyd said something like this:  “And I opened my door to my enemy, and I asked could we wash the slate clean.  But he told me to please  go and frack myself.  No we just can’t win.”

May we have the grace to find peace with our enemy, especially it he is us.

Jay Nicholas. March 14, 2011.

2 thoughts on “Salmon Conservation Glossary, March 14, 2011

  1. For those of us who are relatively new to wild-fish activism, your career-long perspective is hugely valuable, as well as your wonderful, thoughtful sensibilities. We rely on you, sometimes too much, to help us see the larger landscape. But I would also submit that professionals like yourself run the risk of being too close to the process and mechanisms to realize how startling and unjust a particular situation seems to “the rest of us.”

    The Sandy River situation is a perfect example. ODFW leadership doesn’t see the current management plan to be faulty. Not in the least. On the contrary! Given the ugly history of fish management in the basin, and the progression toward more enlightened policies, things are moving in the right direction. Right? But the picture today is horrifying. It is obvious, without any doubt, that Oregonians have “managed” Sandy steelhead into the ground, and would gladly continue on that trajectory. Looking at the graph, where population slides downward and time stays flat, we are heading toward a time when those lines will meet in the not too distant future. And I’m an optimist. But ODFW offers no solutions. Just more of the same, leaving the burden of proof on the backs of fish, while defending hatchery programs it knows are harmful.

    So while I try to empathize with you and your perspective, I also want to challenge you to step outside your perspective at times. What you see might surpise you as much as your wisdom can surprise “us.”

    With love and reverence,

    RR

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