2013 Business Meeting Minutes

2013 Fisheries Management Section Annual Business Meeting (PDF)

September, Little Rock, AR

Call to Order

President Brian Graeb called the annual business meeting of the Fisheries Management Section to order at 3:15 PM.  Brian then thanked the membership for his opportunity to serve, and challenged everyone to get involved in one facet or another.  Brian then stated that multiple projects were underway including the young-professional committee and the hall of excellence committee.  Brian suggested that we move forward with the meeting because there were many interesting pieces of information from these groups that he wanted to relay to the membership


President Brian Graeb asked for comments on last year’s Business Meeting Minutes that were posted on the FMS webpage.  With no comments, the minutes were approved by acclamation.

Financial Report Secretary/Treasurer Quinton Phelps then presented a financial summary of FMS transactions since last year’s meeting.  A slight decrease in our account was present. The Starting Balance as of 8/1/2012 was $32,913.13 and the Current Balance as of 7/31/2013 was $30,970.07 which is a reduction of $-1,943.06 due to the timing of receiving AFS book royalty checks. Quinton ended by suggesting that the section is in great shape and have no large (e.g., book projects, etc.) outstanding or expected expenses in the near future.

AFS Fisheries Management Section

Financial Summary August 1, 2012 through July 31, 2013

Category Debits Credits
T-Shirt Sales 560.00
Section Dues 3,060.00
Interest 2.95
Donation –Fish Culture Section (HAMAR Symposium) -500.00
Officer Travel -4152.56
Meeting Expenses (plaques, 2012 refreshments) -824.60
Banking fees -88.85
Total -5,566.01 3,622.95


Newsletter Editor Geno Adams was not able to attend the meeting; however, Brian Graeb thanked the membership for their submissions to the newsletter and suggested the membership to continue to submit interesting topics for inclusion in future newsletters

Webmaster Travis Neebling was unable to attend, but Brian Graeb shared that he had spoken with Travis who had reworked the webpage content and welcomed any thoughts, ideas and content from the membership.

FMS Subcommittee on the Young Professional Activities Committee Marty Hamel, Tony Sindt, Tyler Stubbs, Travis Neebling, and Quinton Phelps (Chair)

Background:This group was formed during the 2012 FMS business meeting to determine how the subsection can increase awareness and involvement of FMS to young professionals and students.  This concern was raised because of the reductions in numbers of “young” people continuing membership into the section. Furthermore, there seems to be a growing disconnect between upcoming fisheries students and their knowledge of different fish management techniques used around the world.  In some cases, students that do not gain hands on experience during their university educational training, have more difficulties coming “up to speed” once they are employed as a fisheries management biologist. Because of this, we have had several brainstorming sessions and have identified a range of potential items that may increase participation by young professionals and students.  Our committee will continue to evaluate these ideas and we are hopeful to receive more insight from the FMS membership.

Work Performed: The subcommittee exchanged information via email and formally met via telephone calls.  This is a summary of those exchanges.

Activities identified by the committee to increase awareness and involvement by young professionals:

  1. Have an additional FMS meeting at AFS that is tailored to students and young professionals.  We would provide a free fish fry and beverages.
  2. Offer two travel grants each year to attend the AFS meeting (one to a young professional one to a student).  This would be very similar to the Skinner Award.
  3. Provide brochure/web information on the importance of being part of FMS (professional development, meeting your peers, etc).
  4. Personally walking around the meeting and handing out flyers to “young” people.
  5. Have a representative from the Fish Management Section provide a presentation at the state’s annual chapter meetings. Also distributing brochures at this time and really try and recruit.
  6. Have a booth at the trade show with FMS information…and a simultaneous raffle.
  7. Formally or informally poll students and young professionals as to why they are not renewing their memberships or dropping out after securing employment.
  8. Encouraging a President’s Hook (perhaps tied in with a Student’s Angle or Guest article written by our committee) in the Fisheries magazine on the benefits of section membership (not necessarily FMS specific).
  9. Work with the Education Section and Student Subsection to engage, inform, and recruit new members.
  10. Develop an online forum for fisheries management information
  11. Create a mentor program to increase interaction between students/young professionals and existing fisheries management section members.

FMS Subcommittee on the Future of the Hall of Excellence (HOE) Tom Lang, Andy Loftus, Brian Bohnsack, Jeff Kopaska, Tony Korth, Mark Porath (Chair)

Background: At last year’s business meeting in St. Paul, the membership discussed the relocation of the current HOE housed at Aksarben Aquarium in Gretna, NE to another venue that might enhance its purpose.  President Graeb charged a subcommittee with exploring the options for relocation and to evaluate the future purpose and utility of the HOE.

Work Performed: The subcommittee exchanged information via email and formally met via conference calls on Feb 5th and June 28th, 2013.  This is a summary of those exchanges.

The subcommittee discussed at length what other locations would be better suited for the display?  The general feeling conveyed at the annual business meeting was to find a location that would provide more public exposure to the contributions made to fisheries science by the inductees.  Committee discussions included Bass Pro Shops (the Springfield, MO store was the runner-up location when the hall was created) or other major retailers (Cabela’s, Gander Mountain etc.) with destination stores.  The IGFA, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery (Spearfish SD), the USFWS National Conservation Training Center, the AFS headquarters in Bethesda, and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Center were all considered.    These questions then arose.

  • Will retailers want to commit valuable product space long term?
  • What locations would provide a better audience?
  • Who is the audience and with what groups are we trying to connect (anglers, general public, future or current fisheries professionals)?
  •  Does the current display provide the appropriate vehicle for delivery of a message?

The subcommittee asked Tony Korth (Aksarben Aquarium Director, and HOE curator) to report on the HOE’s display in the Aquarium’s visitor’s center and to characterize its visitation use.  The wall display of HOE recipient plaques is located in a prominent location along a main hallway just prior to entering the indoor aquarium. And while the aquarium serves 30,000 to 40,000 visitors per year, the majority is school groups, consisting of young children from pre-K to 6th grade.  Tony reported that his staff rarely witness’s these visitors (students/teachers) stopping at the display.  Occasionally, an adult visitor will stop to read a plaque or two, but by and large the display lives a quiet life.  Visitors have suggested that the display format is not “viewer friendly”, the plaque text is small and the content relatable only to those familiar with fisheries science.  Tony reaffirmed his commitment to the display.  He is more than willing to maintain it at Aksarben as it is an important part of our history.  However, he admits that in its current form/location the display is probably not serving its intended purpose, and there are likely more suitable locations that would provide greater viewership. Tony did request that if the display is moved elsewhere, he would like a single plaque describing Aksarben as the original archive of the HOE.

Inductees represent a tremendous contribution to fisheries science.  The current virtual HOE (Virtual Hall of Excellence Awardees Gallery & Hall of Excellence Inductees ) houses the existing physical display in an electronic format.  The committee then discussed how electronic content could be parlayed into numerous vehicles (e.g. enhanced web content, interactive displays or kiosks, taped interviews of inductees or other professionals, looped display presentations) that could be mobile, widely accessible and adapted to appropriate audiences.

A review of the foundational documents establishing the HOE stated these purposes:

  1. To recognize professional fishery managers for outstanding contributions to management of North American Fisheries.
  2. To provide a permanent site where plaques of those honored can be viewed by other fisheries management professionals and by the general public.
  3.  To emphasize to all interested in fisheries resources, the accomplishment, service, and dedication of honorees.
  4. To emphasize the importance of fisheries resource management to the continued well being of fisheries in the nation and North America.

The subcommittee realizes that a larger question is now rising, is moving the physical display as it currently exists to a different location going to serve the intended purpose?   And furthermore, what is our goal/role of the HOE and its display?  Is it truly to maximize foot traffic or readership?   It is becoming self-evident to this subcommittee that just moving the HOE to a locale with more foot traffic in its current form, may not best serve the intended function of informing and educating others about the contributions made by HOE inductees to fisheries science.

Consensus from the committee is that there is a real need to accurately define the role and purpose of the HOE for the future, and to make sure that inductee accomplishments are prominently featured as the foundation for modern fisheries management.

In an effort to better define the HOE role and map the road ahead, a series of questions are asked:

1)      In this day and age of electronic communications, is a physical display even warranted?

  1. If the membership desires to maintain a physical display.

i.      Where would a physical display best serve the intended purpose?

  1. Fisheries professionals
    1. AFS Annual Meeting?
    2. Bethesda HQ?
    3. Traveling (what circuit?)
    4. Other?
  2. General public
    1. Current location (status quo?)
    2. Alternate location (where?)
    3. Traveling (what circuit?)

ii.      Is there value in enhancing the current display with other physical displays?      (e.g., interactive map, videos, etc.)

iii.      Is there value in enhancing the physical display with virtual displays?

  1. If the membership desires to discontinue using a physical display.

i.      Do we dismantle the current display?

  1. What do we do with the existing plaques?

ii.      Do we keep the existing display at Aksarben in “static mode (i.e. keep the existing plaques but not add to them; although we would still award a plaque to the recipient for their own personal display).

iii.      Do we add to the current virtual HOE with additional elements?


2)      Regarding a Virtual HOE:

  1. How would a Virtual display best reach:

i.      Fisheries professionals

ii.      General public

  1. Do we add to the current virtual HOE with other means of electronic communication:

i.      Videos of award winners

ii.      Monthly Tweets and Facebook postings on AFS Facebook/Twitter account highlighting a specific honoree?

iii.      Other

  1. What are the outlets for an enhanced Virtual HOE

i.      FMS website

ii.      Video displays at Annual Meeting and Regional Fish and Wildlife Conferences (Midwest, Northeast, etc.)

iii.      Links from other websites (e.g., parent society, RBFF, ASA, IGFA, etc.)

iv.      Video displays at multiple retail outlets, aquariums, etc.

v.      Facebook/Twitter

The subcommittee concluded that contacting other locations to gauge receptivity for housing a physical HOE may be premature in light of the discussion items outlined above.  And that the current physical display may not receive a positive response, especially at those locations with valuable retail space.

Action (or in some cases non-action) Items:

1)      Delay contacting potential alternate physical locations to gauge receptivity to housing current format of HOE, until such time that an evaluation of the displays effectiveness can be determined.

2)      Consider archiving the current physical display at a location with more professional viewership.

3)      Continue current HOE practice of awarding plaques to inductee.

4)      Determine audience, messages and appropriate vehicles.

  1. Subcommittee will begin developing ideas to improve and expand the content of the HOE beyond just the plaque language (video history, links to foundational papers, etc.).
  2. Will begin seeking input as to what our target audience should be (AFS members, general public, potential or current students?).
  3. Subcommittee will reach out to the Education Section to seek advice on what information and format would be valuable.
  4. One avenue to preserve our institutional knowledge is with video histories.  We should begin developing a standard list of interview questions, and start recording these ASAP as many inductees are retired and of advanced age.  Might need to recruit students to go out and conduct these interviews.

5)      Pursue a trade show booth at AFS Annual Meeting in Little Rock, using an electronic visual display if possible.

Awards Presented

The Conservation Achievement Award recognizes any significant action, program, or initiative by a nonmember individual, non-governmental organization, or state (provincial), local, or federal agency that contributes substantially to fishery conservation or fishery science was presented to the Shedd Aquarium.  Award was accepted by Dr. David Solomon on behalf of the Shedd Aquarium.

The Award of Merit recognizes a singular accomplishment of an individual or group acting as a team or committee for contributions in fisheries management and research. The award can be given for outstanding leadership, administration, or project-related accomplishment in any aspect of the fisheries profession.  This year’s recipient was Dr. Brian Murphy and presented by Mike Allen and Vic DiCenzo.

The Award of Excellence is given for inspirational leadership in the fishery profession and substantial achievements for AFS and the fisheries resource. The recipients must have effectively communicated their work at the national and/or international level. This year’s  Award of Excellence was presented to Dr. Dennis Scarnecchia.

Dr. David Philipp and Dr. Bob Ditton were inducted into the Hall of Excellence for their significant contributions to fisheries management, management-oriented research, development of methods and equipment, administration of management programs, or the promotion of fisheries resource conservation, protection and management.

Respectfully submitted,

Quinton Phelps

FMS Secretary/Treasurer