Pisces News
 Annual Meeting and Chapter Business
October, 2016
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Consider not just getting an early start to your participation in the 2017 CalNeva meeting in April, but make this the year you get involved in the chapter! CalNeva is run entirely by volunteers, so help from fisheries professionals like you keep things running. Opportunities to help are always available - your unique resources and talents are what make the chapter great!
CalNeva Chapter President, Joseph Merz
Incoming President's Message

I am deeply honored to serve as president of the California Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and am enthusiastic about working with the amazing officers and committee members of this outstanding and valued institution. 
We are in a rather challenging period... social and political turmoil, continued human expansion, climatic extremes and environmental responses.... From coastal algal blooms to continued attempts to develop answers and generate societal support; whether Delta fixes or re-watering Nevada's Walker Lake.   We are also seeing lines drawn in the sand and stakeholders focusing on how far we are on either side of a line rather than identifying points resting near the line that all can agree upon addressing.  Therefore, we are observing little measurable results from the efforts we are employing.  Now, more than ever, we need to work on finding common goals that we can agree upon and then acquire the energy necessary to achieve those goals.
The American Fisheries Society's mission is to improve conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.  As I assume this role, I keep in mind my belief in the Society and the capabilities of our chapter. CalNeva is the largest regional Society chapter consisting of over 400 members.   With our ability to tap the knowledge and experience of so many fisheries professionals and students, it is clear we need to harness this energy to focus on issues we have a strong chance of fixing.  I say this because our chapter is located in a region under severe resource pressures; even more so , given unprecedented drought conditions.  It is imperative that our chapter continues aggressively engaging in activities to advance sound science that supports successful fisheries conservation, especially under these changing times and potential future scenarios. 
Keeping these ideas in mind over the next 12 months, I will encourage CalNeva to continue advancing its goals of mentoring future fishery professionals, maintaining professional integrity, and injecting sound, science-based recommendations to improve the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems into public decision making processes. Furthermore, I believe it's imperative that our chapter broadens its base beyond the traditional core region.  Working with our amazing executive committee and student chapters, we will increase focus on engaging fisheries scientists, educational facilities and stakeholders outside the core California Central Valley Region to be more representative of the diverse ecological and resource issues that face our region and the diversity of scientists that engage them.  Taking the lead of Ramona Swenson and Laurie Earley, we will also rebuild relationships with the Wildlife Society focusing on shared visions and goals.
But I also see another significant issue; over the past few years I have observed last-minute-folks wanting to join the Society simply to attend the annual meeting and save money.  In many cases there have been stalemates between employers and employees about who pays for membership.  In the end, everyone loses, including AFS.   Whether it is the employer's responsibility or the individual's does not matter. The fact that AFS has not made it clear why fishery professionals should or must be members is a failure on our part.  What do members get for the money?  What do employers get for money?  What does it mean to be a certified fisheries scientist?  What does it mean to be a member?  What is the value of taking a class or attend a meeting?  Why is it imperative that fisheries professionals participate in the Society?
I remember some rather heated elections when I was a student member. Today, we typically find one very busy, dedicated person who volunteers for an elected position.  Why?  More pointedly, shouldn't we reinvigorate the call from fisheries professionals to participate in AFS?   The Society offers training, knowledge sharing, an outlet for peer-review and social interaction, and a common voice for resource issues that must be addressed.  On the flip side, we as a group need to also ask what we can do for the Society.  What issues can we work on together?  How can we mentor new scientists?  What can we as individuals do to benefit the Society and fisheries issues?  We need to revive enthusiasm into our chapter and I challenge each and every one of us to provide recommendations on how to do so.  For instance, when was the last time we had an officer from Nevada?  CALNEVA must expand beyond Central Valley focus to facilitate collaboration and conversation at all corners of the chapter, focus on providing more professional training classes, and continue building on student mentorship. 
But to do so, educational facilities and resource agencies must become re-engaged.  Where else will young professionals and students get these experiences?  The bottom line is we need a clear message about the roll of mentorship!
In closing, I have recently seen some amazing students attending and working with AFS.  They are shining beacons of hope for our Chapter!  I look forward, not only to the challenges that lie ahead but the interaction and collaboration with our members.   With your help, I am hoping for and aspiring to great things for CalNeva this year!

Outgoing Calneva Chapter President, Ramona Swenson
Outgoing President's Message

Fish, friends, science, BBQ! Incoming President Joe Merz and I enjoyed the talks and endured the "meat sweats" with over 1,000 fisheries folks at the 2016 Annual Meeting Kansas City, MO, August 20-25.  

A key objective for us was connecting  with Society leaders and HQ staff to improve services for the Cal-Neva Chapter. As a result, our website is now being upgraded to the Society's new format by Beth Beard (Digital Content), which will make it easier to access, distribute and archive information. I gained skills both practical (leading volunteer organizations) and arcane (Roberts' Rules of Order) in the leadership workshop led by Steve McMullin (President-Elect). I highly recommend this free training to anyone considering serving as an officer or committee member. These skills are quite transferrable to your career.  

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be a joint meeting with The Wildlife Society, to be held in our backyard, Reno NV (September 29-October 3, 2019). Joe and I met with Executive Director Doug Austen, Shawn Johnston (Meetings Manager), Doug Cassidy (Deputy ED), and Ken Williams (TWS Executive Director) to discuss roles. The Society is increasingly relying on staff to plan and run these large meetings. This will reduce the logistics burden on the Chapter, allowing us to focus more on local flavor and program elements. I'm excited about this shared opportunity for us fisheries and wildlife professionals.

Through the week, I reflected on why I'm an AFS member and officer. According to the writer Frederick Buechner, your calling lies "where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." We fisheries scientists are fortunate to be working in a field that intersects so many of the world's deep needs: conservation of our natural heritage, management of precious waters for fish and people, feeding the growing hunger for protein. Even recreation and renewal of the spirit.

I was especially inspired by Dr. Mamie Parker (US Fish and Wildlife Service, retired), who evoked a revival meeting with her stirring and gracious speech accepting the Emmeline Moore Prize for her exemplary service in the cause of equal opportunity. Dr. Parker later moderated a symposium on Increasing Diversity in Fisheries. We simply must do better including diverse viewpoints and talents to meet fisheries' complex challenges. Dr.  Fausch (Colorado State University), who received the Award of Excellence, reflected on his work in stream ecology and the larger question of why rivers are important to humans, why we should want to conserve them, and what we can to ensure their future. His book For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist's Journey is on my reading list now.

I encourage you to pay attention to what energizes and inspires you, what you love to do, what you are good at. There are so many ways your talents and energies can make a difference, in the workplace and the world. Take advantage of AFS as a member, volunteer, and officer to deepen your skills and broaden your reach. Through annual meetings, trainings, and networking AFS can help you do good, do well, and do better. 

2016 Cal Neva Executive Committee Open Positions

We would like to take a moment to remind you that your Chapter needs your skills, passion, and perspectives to build a vibrant, inclusive, and multicultural corps of volunteer leaders. Volunteers are the driving force of professional and scientific societies such as CalNeva AFS.  Our mission can only be fulfilled through the time and knowledge volunteered by members just like you.  Volunteering also provides many benefits, including the opportunity to network with your peers, learn about trends and issues in fisheries, and gain leadership training and experience. Committees serve a vital function in the advancement of the Chapter's mission by providing the technical leadership that allows our Chapter to hold successful annual meetings, comment on resource policy, provide outreach and training opportunities, and the Pieces newsletter.

It Is Your Society ->Get Involved!

-> Executive Committee Vacancies: 

-> Upcoming Executive Committee Vacancies:
(Nominations currently being accepted - Election to be held at 2017 meeting)

Contact Dylan Stompe to apply for a committee appointment or to submit a nomination.

2017 CalNeva Meeting Location Announced!


The 2017 CalNeva conference will be held in Eureka, California, at the Sequoia Conference Center and the Red Lion Inn.

The Sequoia Conference Center will be hosting plenary sessions, business meetings, and the banquet. The conference center has the following amenities: 
  • accommodates 400 at tables or 550 theater style in one large or three separated spaces
  • offers state-of-the-art video and audio technology including video walls, multiple screens and cameras independently controlled
  • includes a full service kitchen with dishes, flatware, glassware, and serving utensils for up to 500
  • designed around a gracious lobby and registration area with a built-in service island
The Red Lion Inn will host  continuing education seminars, the trade show, poster sessions, and break-out sessions. Amenities include:
  • 175 rooms 
  • Only 15 minute drive from the Arcata/Eureka airport
  • Complimentary Airport shuttle
  • 6,788 square feet of meeting facilities and banquet space
In addition, Eureka and the surrounding area are well known for amazing fishing opportunities, hiking, mountain biking, and beaches. Don't limit your stay through the conference, enjoy a weekend on the North coast! Information on Eureka here.

Plan to volunteer.  The networking opportunities are valuable, and it may help legitimate business travel, should your employer ask. Volunteering opportunities to be posted soon!

Set up your personal or corporate donation to CalNeva to assist in the addition of special events, extra meeting benefits, student outreach, and other important society endeavors.  Donations from members like you keep CalNeva operating and are a great way to show your support.  We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization; all cash contributions and donations are tax deductible - contact Felipe La Luz or Jim Hobbs for more information!

Student Subunit Happenings


Humboldt Fish Club

The first meeting of the semester was held on September 13th. The subunit introduced it's new officers and discussed the following activities:
  • Tuna Mixer
  • Dodgeball
  • Fishing Derby
  • Fishing Buddy
  • Volunteer Opportunities
Stay tuned for scheduling of these activities and events!

Davis - Sacramento Subunit

Davis - Sacramento officers met on September 29th and discussed the following upcoming events:
  • Oct. 26 - Fall Quarter Meeting - Introduction, speakers, membership, etc.          6-8pm, Woodstocks Pizza, Davis

  • Nov. 5th - City of Winters Salmon Festival - Subunit will have a table setup. Come out for face and fish painting, a trout derby, fly casting, live music and local food! Event to be held at Rotary Park, Winters.
Davis - Sacramento Subunit put on the third annual Carpe Carpio event on October
13th at the UC Davis Arboretum. Carp were caught and free Chipotle burritos were enjoyed!

Santa Cruz - Monterey Bay Area Subunit

The Santa Cruz - Monterey Bay Area Subunit (SCMBAS) threw a joint mixer with  Monterey Area Research Institutions Network for Education (MARINE) on September 29th. SCMBAS president, Dave Fryxell, reported the event as a huge success! There were over 70 participants and many new members attended. SCMBAS looks forward to collaborating with MARINE for future events and a successful year of networking and outreach.

Additional AFS Meetings              

In addition to attending CalNeva's annual meeting in Eureka, consider marking the Western Division and National meetings down on your calendar! Attending regional and national AFS meetings allow members to network with a broader group of fisheries professionals which can provide valuable connections  and bring a new perspective to your work.