Annual Report – 2015

To: Donna L. Parrish, President
From: John Sweka; Fish Habitat Section
July 10, 2015

  1. Motion Report
  2. A) Recommended Motion: None
    B) Minority View:
    C)        Background for Motion:
  3. Activity Report
  4. Charge or Annual Program of Work

The objective of the Fish Habitat Section (FHS) of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is to encourage the advancement of knowledge and exchange of information on the broad scope of multidisciplinary fish habitat issues, including marine, estuarine and freshwater, among members of the Society who belong to this Section.


The FHS will sponsor symposia at the AFS annual meeting for the sharing of the most recent developments in the science and application of aquatic habitat conservation.  The FHS will also be partnering with other organizations such as The Coastal Society (TCS) and Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF) to further facilitate the sharing of information on effective aquatic habitat conservation.  Achievement in fish habitat conservation will be recognized through an annual award program in partnership with the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP).  Promotion of student involvement and achievement will be conducted through donation to travel funds and a “Best Student Presentation in a Fish Habitat Section Sponsored Symposium” award.



  1. Annual Financial Report
Beginning Balance Aug 1, 2014 $6,947.61
Beverages for 2014 Meeting $706.40
Award to Best Student Presentation $100.00
Certificate and Plaque (Best Student Award – AFS) $25.00
AFS Chapter Insurance (Oct 2014 – Sept 2015) $150.00
Habitat Section Award $175.00
Donation to Skinner Award $200.00
Donation to EOS Chapter (Student Travel) $150.00
Ending Balance July 31, 2014 $5,441.21



  1. C) Summary of Outcomes and Accomplishments (fill in tables below as applicable to your unit; based on 2015-2019 Strategic Plan)

Strategy 1. Organize and sponsor forums to present new findings and exchange ideas

Activity Description Number of Attendees
Symposia Five co-sponsored symposia at Portland meeting:

1)      Dam Removals: Fishery and Habitat Response

2)      Developments in Low-Cost Sonar Applications in Aquatic Research and Conservation

3)      Implementation of the National Fish Habitat Partnership: Progress in Protecting, Restoring, and Enhancing Fish Habitats, Fish, and Fisheries in the United States

4)      Warm-Water Fishes in a Warming World: Impacts of Climate Change on Populaitons, Distributions, and Habitat

5)      Resolving the Multiple Impacts of Anthropogenic Eutrophication on Coastal Fish and Fisheries


Informal Gatherings


Strategy 2. Provide continuing education opportunities with an emphasis on training and courses that are not commonly offered by academic institutions and/or that will be essential tools in the future.

Name of Course Description Number of Attendees (Students/Professionals) Length of Course


Strategy 3. Develop communication products and publicly accessible information to promote the value of fisheries, aquatic habitat, and fisheries sciences.

Type and Method of Communication Description Target Audience Number of People Reached
Facebook Facebook page ( To disseminate habitat related information and make announcements for the section AFS members, Fish Habitat Section members, General public 391 likes since the page was created in September 2013
Email Mass emails to FHS members for Section announcements Fish Habitat Section members 659 current members


Strategy 4. Develop relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with other professional societies, conservation organizations, decision makers, and stakeholders to establish and promote mutual goals of fisheries science, education, and stewardship. [examples: Hosting kid fishing tournaments, Trout in the Classroom, bi/tri Society meetings; etc.]

Type of Relationship Description of Development How Relationship Advances AFS Priorities?
Partnership with the National Fish Habitat Partnership Awards We worked with NFHP to solicit nominations for extraordinary achievements in the areas Vision, Action, Scientific Achievement, and Outreach and Education in support of fish habitat conservation.  Two awards were presented at the Restore America’s Estuaries/Costal Society Summit on November 5, 2014 (

Awards were presented to Tim Birdsong for his work in developing the Native Black Bass Keystone Initiative and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for their substantial contributions to fish habitat conservation in the Borough.


This effort will continue in with a call for nominations and awards presented in the Fall of 2015.


The priorities for aquatic habitat conservation of AFS and NFHP are similar and this joint award presented on behalf of NFHP and the AFS Fish Habitat Section fosters communication and recognition of achievements between our respective groups.
Partnership with The Coastal Society (TCS) and The Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF) FHS President-Elect, Tom Bigford, has been spearheading collaboration between AFS, TCS, and CERF.  Future collaborations include jointly sponsored symposia at the 2015 CERF meeting, a joint meeting of AFS, TCS, and CERF at the New England Estuarine Research Society meeting. This collaboration offers the opportunity to recruit new members to each society, connect on society business and build partnerships for areas of common interest between societies.


Strategy 5. Publish high quality scientific journals, books, and proceedings that present recent advances, reviews and syntheses of fisheries and aquatic science and management.

Type of Publication (e.g., manuscript, book, symposia) Number published Summary Impact factor/ Number Citations
Manuscript 2 Aided in development of the Executive Summary of HaMAR Considerations paper


Trushenski et al. 2014. AFS completes assessment, issues new guidance regarding hatchery operations and the use of hatchery operation and the use of hatchery-origin fish. Fisheries 39: 543-547.


Trushenski, et al. 2015. Introduction to a special section: Hatcheries and management of aquatic resources (HaMAR) – Consideratoins for use of hatcheries and hatchery-origin fish. North American Journal of Aquaculture 77:327-342.







Fisheries Impact Factor = 2.32/0 citations






North American Journal of Aquaculture Impact Factor = 0.706/ 1 citation




Strategy 6. Develop and disseminate scientifically-based communication materials that represent and reflect the mission of the Society to political leaders, decision makers, stakeholders, and the public.

Type and Method of Communication (e.g., letters, briefings, workshops) Description Target Audience Number of People Reached
Considerations paper Participation in the development of the Hatcheries and Management of Aquatic Resources (HaMAR) Considerations document Fisheries Managers Unknown


Strategy 7. Provide online resources of value and interest to members and non-members to be the leading source of online fisheries science.

Type of Online Resource (e.g., website, social media) Number of Unique Visits Time Spent per Visitor Other
Website, Facebook page 391 facebook likes Unknown



Strategy 8.  Support, manage, and promote a fisheries professional certification program that is recognized as a distinguished mark of scientific excellence and expertise within and outside the Society.

Type of Outreach to Promote Certification Among Members Number of People Reached Outcome Comments
Note: Actual numbers of Certified members within a Unit can be provided by AFS staff; report should focus on the type of activity being conducted to promote certification among Unit members.


Strategy 9. Use innovative techniques such as surveys, focus groups, social media, and other means, to determine and respond to the needs, interests, and opinions of Society members.

Technique Used (e.g., survey, focus group, social media) Number of Entries Outcome
2014 Survey of Fish Habitat Section Membership to determine topics for symposia and workshops 135 respondents Identified topics of greatest interest to our membership which helped to develop and sponsor the numerous symposia the Fish Habitat Section is associated with during the Portland meeting.


Strategy 10. Embrace and adopt new technologies to enhance and expand the Society’s education, communications, networking, and advocacy activities.

Type of Technology Description of AFS Activities Enhanced or Expanded Other
Social Media – Facebook Notification of general AFS and FHS happenings and news; News of habitat conservation efforts across the country


Strategy 11.  Enhance participation of students and professionals at all levels of the Society to assure member recruitment, retention, and leadership development into the future.

Level of Participation Type of Activity Number of People reached Comments
AFS Member
Student AFS Member Free Section Membership 381 Student members Student membership makes up 58% of the Section’s membership
Young Professional
Chapter Member
Emerging Leader
Note: Actual numbers may be provided by AFS staff; report should focus on the type of activity being conducted to improve participation in Unit activities


Strategy 12. Promote ethnic, socio-economic, generational, and disciplinary diversity within the Society and the fisheries profession.

Target Group Level of Participation Comments
Students Contribution of $200 to the Skinner Award Fund


Contribution of $150 to the EO Section for student travel


Strategy 13. Recognize and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of members and partners through awards, special conference sessions, and other activities.

Type of Award/Activity Recipient(s) Comments
Best Student Presentation Award in a FHS sponsored symposia Dan Stich – University of Maine Presentation of  “Expecting the Unexpected: Combined Effects of Dam Removal and Re-Allocation of Hydropower on Atlantic Salmon Smolt Migrations” in the “Dam Impacts on Fishery Resources” symposium held at the Quebec City meeting.
NFHP/AFS-FHS Awards for Achievement in Fish Habitat Conservation Tim Birdsong – Native Black Bass Keystone Initiative


Matanuska-Susitna Borough – contributions to fish habitat conservation in the Borough.

Presented at the Restore America’s Estuaries/Costal Society Summit


Strategy 14.  Hold elections and convene regular meetings of elected officers to plan activities that advance the mission of the Society and provide sound financial management of assets, revenue, and expenses.

Type of Activity (e.g., leadership meeting, financial status, elections) Description and Status Comments
Election held for President-Elect Election will be held by electronic ballot and will end on August 7,2015 Two strong candidates (Tom Lang and Cindy Williams) for the position. Winner will take over as President-Elect at the Section’s annual business meeting on August 18, 2015;

Sheila Eyler has agreed to serve another term as Secretary/Treasurer.

Leadership Conference Calls Numerous conference calls among Fish Habitat Section Officers Discussion of sponsored symposia, planning for 2015 business meeting, awards, and elections


Strategy 15. Periodically review constitution, bylaws, and procedures manual and revise using appropriate procedures as necessary.

Type of Review Frequency Comments
None Conducted The FHS is still a relatively new section being established in 2010, and thus our bylaws and procedures remain current.