Management for an optimum escapement helps achieve consistent returns year in and year out. There is still some fluctuation, of course, but the goal is for there to be harvestable fish every year for the various user groups. Before active management, boom and bust cycles were likely more common. Huge runs would lead to small runs in subsequent years. When too many fish spawn, the resulting fry and smolt have to compete for a limited food supply, leading to greater mortality of the young fish and eventually to smaller returns. Eventually these smaller returns would build in numbers to larger runs, and the cycle would repeat itself. With both commercial and sport fishing economies built around the return of the salmon, it is in everyone's interest to smooth out the peaks and valleys. (Brian)
Well said Brian. It is good to see that there are others on the forum besides Nerka and Grampy that understand salmon management and the negative aspects of overescapement.