Being in SE I'm a bit disconnected from the king salmon issues in SC. But I read a lot of what's being said and through my own level of deductive reasoning have decided that in-stream management at this point in time serves little purpose beyond maintain the existence of a salmon run. We're experiencing similar poor king returns here in SE, however a number of our king returns are hatchery runs.
Hatchery A releases 600,000 smolt every year. In years past that would garner a return of roughly 10,000 fish. During the past few years those returns have been between 800 and 1200 fish.
So my reasoning tells me that if a controlled source of salmon releasing a consistent number each year is seeing the same reduction in returns as the wild runs, the problem cannot be solved by in-stream management. Something is happening "out there" beyond the reach of our current management practices.
Just my opinion.....