September 4th, Seattle, WA
President Dirk Miller called the meeting to order at 3:10 PM, confirmed a quorum (58 signed attendance sheets) and thanked everyone for attending. Dirk introduced the meeting agenda, the members of the executive committee and then recognized the FMS past presidents in attendance.
AFS President Wayne Hubert addressed attendees, mentioning that he has always enjoyed attending our annual business meeting as he has been a member of the FMS since its inception. He welcomed everyone to the largest AFS meeting in our history with over 4000 registered, 95 symposia, 29 concurrent sessions, 2600 oral and 500 poster presentations. Each large annual meeting usually has a corresponding surge in membership and AFS expects an increase of several thousand to over 9000 members. Wayne then spoke to the three goals of the AFS Strategic Plan, making special mention of several items. The transition in publishing to Taylor & Francis has had some “rough edges” but several benefits have already been noted through an increase in impact factors of AFS journals and in global readership and submissions. There has been substantial progress in several policy issues this year including those relating to climate change, use of lead in sport fishing tackle, and the need for an immediate release sedative. AFS has hired a consultant to review its electronic services in an attempt to improve this important membership feature.
Ian Dolben, IFM Chair, addressed the group on activities “across the pond”. A water framework directive has begun that will classify waters not just by water quality parameters but will now include fish community information as well. A River Trust conference is scheduled for March that will encompass the current state of knowledge on fish screening. And a new “sustainable eel standard” is being worked on by the IFM.
Dirk provided a presidents report. He mentioned the potential for an AFS 2012 symposium on the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, as FMS and the Fisheries Administration Section jointly participate in an exchange program with the IFM. This past year Dirk traveled to the IFM meeting in Portsmouth at the historic dockyard. The location provided a feeling of the long history associated with this meeting, dining aboard the old vessels and amongst the cannons brought home the meeting theme of “Fisheries in transition from source to sea”. The United Kingdom and much of Europe face similar challenges in fisheries management that we have here in North America, this exchange provides a valuable link between our professional groups that benefit us all. Serving on the AFS Governing Board, Dirk believes that the work surrounding the development of policy statements is positive and substantial progress has been made. Similarly, the review of the AFS electronic services is needed and positive.
The minutes of the 2010 Business Meeting minutes from Pittsburgh were published in the newsletter. After asking for and receiving not comments or corrections, the minutes were approved. Mark Porath, Secretary/Treasurer, provided a financial summary for the 2011 fiscal year (August 1, 2010 through July 31,2011) with each transaction provided by handout. For 2011 the starting balance was $34,801.12 and the ending balance was $30,165.81 for a net decline of $4,635.31. Mark also reported that several transactions had occurred since August 1, 2011. A $2,000 donation to the Hutton Fund has been made (from 2010 Business Meeting), $953.40 was used to purchase FMS t-shirts (fundraiser), and $5,884.05 has been received from AFS for book royalties (last payment was in May 2010). With an estimated $900 bill for the meeting refreshments, Mark reported that the current balance of FMS funds is approximately $32,196.46. Jeff Boxrucker commented that in the early 90’s the FMS also had a generous balance of around $20,000 and extra effort was made to put the money to work (spent down to approximately $10,000), he recommended we follow the same course of action.
Quinton Phelps, Newsletter Editor, provided a brief update on the status of the newsletter and reminded those attendee’s who had ordered t-shirts to pick them up.
Travis Neebling, Web Page Editor, is planning to make some updates this winter and asked for any suggestions be forwarded to him. He also thanked past editor Fred Janssen for all his work in developing the current web page.
Urban and Community Fisheries Management Committee representative Tom Lang provided an update. There are currently 59 facebook friends of the committee and Tom is looking for someone to take over the management of the facebook page. Andy Loftus provided some insight from the AFS Membership Survey, which showed little value was placed on social media, specifically FB, regardless of age. Dirk shared some difficulty in its use and utility. Tom will put together a newsletter article.
President-elect Brian Graeb took the podium to present this year’s FMS Awards.
An Award of Merit was presented to Adam Kaeser and Thom Litts, fisheries biologists from the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. Adam and Thom developed a new technique for identifying and quantifying instream aquatic habitat with the use of side scanning sonar and GIS technology. This novel technique for analyzing aquatic habitat has enormous potential to assist Fisheries Managers efforts to identify, measure, or improve aquatic habitats to benefit fisheries resources. They have done a superb job of making this technique available to fisheries professionals through the publication of their research, teaching workshops, and preparing an online guide and other online resources. Neither Adam nor Thom was able to be present to accept their award.
An Award of Excellence was presented to Wes Porak of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Wes is responsible for largemouth bass research for the Florida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission (FWC). In his 29 years with FWC, he has studied the age and growth, ecology, behavior, genetics, stock enhancement, health and conservation of largemouth bass, and pioneered the development of largemouth bass regulations. Twenty four publications have resulted from his research projects and Wes has made numerous presentations at local chapter, Southern Division and annual AFS meetings, as well as over a hundred presentations to fishing clubs and other citizen conservation organizations. Wes has clearly distinguished himself as an outstanding fisheries scientist, and his work has had broad impacts on fisheries management in the Southeast and for largemouth bass fisheries in general. Wes expressed his appreciation for the award.
An Award of Merit was presented to Ken Cullis, Lake Superior Management Supervisor for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. In his 32 year career, Ken was intimately involved with the Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans (RAP) and his involvement with developing the fisheries components for the four RAPs along the Canadian North Shore of Lake Superior. The resultant document has shaped the management of non-commercial fisheries in the Canadian waters of Lake Superior for more than two decades. Ken took on a special assignment as a founding member of the Lake Superior Programs Office (LSPO), representing the Governments of Canada and Ontario in the Lake Superior Binational Program.
Some of the key accomplishments of the Upper Great Lakes Management Unit (UGLMU) Lake Superior offices during Ken’s tenure include: restoration of north shore steelhead; protection and rehabilitation of coaster brook trout; improving the understanding of the pelagic fish community in Lake Superior; establishment of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area; rehabilitation of the Black Bay walleye population. Ken expressed his appreciation for the award.
Jeff Boxrucker was inducted into the FMS Hall of Excellence. Jeff earned BS and MS degrees in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1977 he began his illustrious career with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) as a fisheries technician at the Oklahoma Fishery Research Laboratory. He was soon promoted to fisheries biologist and in 2000 became the senior biologist at the OFRL. In 2007 he became Assistant Chief of fisheries for the Department and he retired in 2010 after 33 years of distinguished service. He continues to be active within the fisheries field through his leadership role in the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP).
For much of his career Jeff was involved in research directed toward more effective management of impounded waters. To that end he authored or coauthored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and gave numerous presentations before professional and lay groups.
Jeff is widely recognized as a leader within the fisheries profession. In 1991 he was named the Outstanding Fisheries Worker by the Oklahoma Chapter of AFS and subsequently served as the Chapter’s president. In recognition of his professional commitment and abilities his peers elected him president of the AFS Fisheries Management Section in 1999 and president of the AFS Southern Division in 2000. As Division president he served on the AFS Governing Board and Management Committee where he provided effective leadership and wise counsel. In 2002 he chaired the AFS Leadership Development Committee. In recognition of Jeff’s considerable service to his profession and contributions to fisheries management he received the AFS Southern Division’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2006.
Perhaps Jeff’s greatest contribution to the fisheries profession is his mentoring of students and young professionals. In his career at ODWC he supervised the graduate research of nine MS students and provided them a valuable role model of a fisheries professional. Likewise he supervised many technicians and biologists who benefitted from his scientific knowledge, insights, and professionalism. Within all levels of AFS Jeff has positively influenced the lives and careers of students and young professionals through formal presentations and informal, individual discussions for which he is seemingly always available.
Jeff is hereby elected into the NATIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT HALL of EXCELLENCE, 2011 by order of the Executive Committee, Fisheries Management Section, American Fisheries Society.
Under Old Business, Andy Loftus presented an abbreviated version of work that was partially funded by FMS entitled “Returns from Excise Tax Payments to Industry” that was completed for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and put together by Andy in conjunction with Southwick Associates, Inc. He also provided a handout “The Benefits to Business from Hunting and Fishing Excise Taxes”. The purpose of this work was to assist AFWA in defending the continuation of this excise tax in its current form and level to congress, as industry support has eroded. For manufacturers, they recognize that the excise tax is one of their top three expenses along with property and personnel, and often exceeds their profit margin. Additionally, while agencies commonly evaluate the value of the projects to fish and wildlife, there rarely has been an industry perspective on “return on investment” (ROI). Andy emphasized that we need to better communicate that this is actually an investment and not an expense issue.
Several years ago, they began looking to see if data was available to support an analysis for ROI and initiated a pilot study. The approach was to look at the federal excise taxes paid by the manufacturers of products and the wholesale value of taxable sales. Motor boat fuels tax was not included in the ROI. From this analysis they found that ROI is much higher when compared to typical investments for three main reasons; leveraging, long-term investments and associated programs & Acts. Every excise tax dollar is leveraged with two license dollars and then often matched with an additional 25% when a project is started. This is a 150% immediate return. Most projects return benefits over a long time period, providing returns year after year and compound the initial investment. Other programs that get tied into projects or that also benefit fish & wildlife (Clean Water Act, Farm Bill etc.) bring outside dollars to improvements further benefiting the resource and manufacturers sell more tackle and equipment. Andy relayed that from 1951 through 2009, the value of products produced by the sport fishing industry has grown by 270% in constant dollars.
While participation rates are declining (as a percent of the population), there still are double the number of anglers since 1950 and there continues to be a large demand for products. And if you look at the average annual ROI to the sport fishing industry from 1955-2006 it is 2,157% which is based on $91.2 M in tax payments versus $2.3 B in average annual wholesale shipments of taxable equipment. For wildlife it was closer to $1,100%. The returns to the fishing tackle industry is higher due to motor boat fuel taxed added by the Wallop-Breaux in the 80’s which greatly enhanced the funding pot and were considered leverage funds.
Of the case studies each of them had a positive ROI ranging from 62% over 20 years to 830% over 40 years. Some of them did have a negative excise tax ROI, but overall the returns were positive. This is the message we need to communicate to the industry. Other important messages to convey are that these were pre-existing taxes that were redirected after WWII by Senator Dingell, back to the industry that was paying them. Secondly, these are a permanent appropriation with excise taxes that don’t require annual allocations by congress and have a clause requiring non-diversion of license dollars as well.
This report shows that these funds often experience a substantial return on investment. However, accurately quantifying the amount of return can be very difficult as there is substantial variability in returns and the data is often in a user friendly form. Several insights from compiling the report, first, the 25% match is an underestimate of the funds provided to these projects and should be considered as a “catalyst” as most projects would not be undertaken without them. Second, there is often a 3-5 year time lag before the investment begins providing returns. Also, there is little consideration about how a reduction in the excise tax would impact other cooperating funding partners, both federal and non-federal.
Dirk introduced Scott Bonar to give an update on the standard sampling project that FMS has helped fund. Scott thanked members for their support of the book project and wanted to update the group on the progress for setting up the online version. It allows constant updating for new information, and a process for validation of techniques. The online version is gaining a lot of interest internationally and is being formatted into French and Spanish versions. Scott then demonstrated the online version and commented on how computer language intensive the project has been, all in an effort to make it as user friendly as possible. He closed with once again thanking FMS for the support and continued data.
Dirk presented the revised bylaws to the group. The revision allows electronic voting and formalizes the role of regional representative in text, and increases the spending authority of the Executive Committee. The revisions were distributed by newsletter and posted on the FMS webpage. A motion to adopt the revised bylaws as presented was made by Steve Lochmann, seconded by Tom Lang and approved unanimously by voice vote.
Mike Allen presented a book project to be entitled the “Foundations of Fisheries Science” to be published by AFS and would contain reprints of classic articles that represent the foundational knowledge of fisheries science to date. Have already secured a number of experts to serve as editors for relevant topics. Will begin with an electronic survey to solicit what foundational papers should be included. Requested $3,000 to hire a student to compile the results, and was going to request $3,000 from the Education Section as well to make their $6,000 budget. Tom Lang expressed support as it’s difficult to access old symposia. Mike mentioned the target is published journal articles but will allow the survey to drive the content. AFS recommended a royalty package similar to other donations of this level, 3% post production costs and 2% pre. Dirk commented on the current structure of financing AFS book projects and how final royalties are negotiated. Mike responded to a question about the scope of the book, which is intended to tap foundational papers globally and not just in North America. Andy Loftus moved that FMS support the project at the $3,000 level, seconded by Brad Ray. Jeff Boxrucker asked Mike what would happen if the Education Section did not support the project? He then moved to amend the motion on the floor from “$3,000” to “$3,000 or up to $6,000”, seconded by Cindy Williams. The amendment passed by voice vote with a single dissent. The original motion was then passed unanimously by voice vote.
Vince Mudrak then addressed the group concerning the earlier book project “Propagated Fish in Resource Management”. He gave a presentation on the background that resulted in the first effort, and opened the floor to answer his question of “Is there interest in a second version, and is FMS willing to participate?” Vince asked if FMS is interested in being part of a pilot group to determine if a second edition is needed and supported. Dirk will seek a volunteer to work with Vince as part of the pilot group.
Kathryn Winkler, AFS Hutton Program/ Continuing Education Coordinator expressed thanks for the recent $2,000 donation to the Hutton Program from FMS. In 2011, there were 58 applicants and 18 were eventually selected across 14 states, two thirds were minority and two thirds were female. There has been good support from a broad base to date, but would like to get more involved with student subunits. They have found that successful candidates are understandably very active in these chapter activities.
Dirk requested if there was any new business from the floor. Hearing none, he thanked everybody for attending, reiterated his interest in developing future FMS symposia, and adjourned the meeting at 4:57 PM.
Mark Porath, FMS Secretary-Treasurer
Fisheries Management Section
2011 Business Meeting Agenda
Sunday, September 4, 2011, 3:00-5:00 PM – Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Metropolitan A
Welcome and Announcements – Dirk Miller, FMS President
- Recognition of officers and other guests
- Current AFS issues – Wayne Hubert, AFS President
- FMS/FAS exchange program with Institute of Fisheries Management – Ian Dolben, IFM Chairman
- President’s comments – Dirk Miller
Approval of Minutes of 2010 Annual Business Meeting – Mark Porath
Review and Approval of Financial Report – Mark Porath
- FMS Newsletter – Quinton Phelps
- FMS Web Page – Travis Neebling
- Urban and Community Fisheries Management Committee – Tom Lang
- FMS Awards – Brian Graeb
o Award of Merit
o Award of Excellence
o Hall of Excellence
- Return-On-Investment of Sport Fish Restoration funding – Andy Loftus
- Standard Sampling Database Project Report – Scott Bonar
- Bylaws revision – Dirk Miller
- Request for funding book project – Foundations of Fisheries Science $3,000 – Mike Allen
- Propagated Fish in Resource Management – should we repeat the effort? – Vince Mudrak
- Other new business – Dirk Miller
o New symposia/book project ideas?