Annual Report – 2016

To: Ron Essig, President
From: Tom Bigford, Fish Habitat
July 28, 2016

  1. Motion Reportnone
  2. Activity Report
  3. Charge or Annual Program of Work –


The AFS Fish Habitat Section (FHS) encourages 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 received no charge from AFS leadership for 2015-2016. New President Tom Bigford shared his work plan at the Section’s annual business meeting on August 18, 2015. The Section’s focus remained on:

  1. Subject-matter events such as symposia at the annual meeting;
  2. Support student travel and presentation awards;
  3. Continue the Section’s role as the official representative for AFS to the National Fish Habitat Partnership (the FHS rep sits on the NFHP Board);
  4. Increase Section membership; and,
  5. Increase member participation in Section activities.

Two new priorities are to strengthen partnerships with other aquatic resource groups and to re-invigorate our social meeting presence.

  1. Annual Financial Report
Beginning Balance Aug 1, 2015 $8,201.21
2015 Membership Dues $2,685.00
Refreshments for 2015 Meeting $600.00
Award to Best Student Presentation $100.00
Certificate and Plaque (Best Student Award – AFS) $25.00
AFS Chapter Insurance (Oct 2015 – Sept 2016) $150.00
Certificate and Plaque (Past President) $25.00
Donation to Western Division Student Colloquium


Habitat Section Award (AFWA)




Ending Balance July 31, 2016 $9,525.45



  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

The FHS has continued its efforts to co-sponsored symposia at the AFS annual meetings to share recent developments in the science and application of aquatic habitat conservation. At the Portland meeting the Section supported symposia on dam removal, sonar applications, National Fish Habitat Partnership implementation, warm-water fishes and climate, and anthropogenic euthrophication. For the Kansas City meeting, we co-sponsored or assisted symposia on reservoirs, drought (with the Fisheries Management Section and Water Quality Section), federal fishery management history, hypoxia, cooling waters, and NOAA’s marine research program.

For the Portland meeting, the Section promoted student involvement and achievement by awarding a best student paper award at the annual meeting (with $100 cash award) and donating $200 to the AFS Western Division student colloquium for 2016.


Activity Description Number of Attendees
Meetings Section business meeting 24 members; 45 total
Workshops n/a
Symposia As listed above About 250 total
Informal Gatherings n/a
Other n/a


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.

The Section did not organize any education events in Portland but is contemplating such a role for Tampa in 2017.

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


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.]

AFS has professional relations with The Coastal Society (TCS) and the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF), with an official liaison to each (actually two with CERF as the Estuaries Section also works closely with them). In November 2015, FHS Section Tom Bigford partnered with TCS and CERF to organize and moderate a session on “Fish as Integrators of Watershed Health” at the CERF biennial meeting in Portland, Oregon.

In its role as AFS representative to the National Fish Habitat Partnership Board, Section President Tom Bigford attended the NFHP Board October 2015 meeting in Sacramento, California. Achievement in fish habitat conservation will be recognized through an annual award program in partnership with the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP).

Type of Relationship Description of Development How Relationship Advances AFS Priorities?
Liaison Moderated session at CERF biennial meeting Focused on fish as integrators of coastal watershed health


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


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.

See below under Strategy 7 regarding social media.

Type and Method of Communication (e.g., letters, briefings, workshops) Description Target Audience Number of People Reached


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

We launched the “AFS Habitat Section Social Media Outreach Plan” in late summer 2015 to increase the visibility, functionality, and value of our Section through an improved social media presence. To refresh our website and increase our social meeting presence, our objectives were:

  1. Increase visibility and dissemination through new twitter account (@AFS_Habitat). Metric: 13 Tweets and 88 followers (and growing!). 2016 numbers are up; actual numbers pending.
  2. Increase visibility and dissemination of material through website
  3. Institute a rolling “news” website or web page to provide a forum for fish habitat papers and news. Metric: Since Nov. 1, 2015: 1,158 website views from the US (70%), Spanish-language countries (7%), Canada (1%), Great Britain, Sweden, France, and Japan. About 40% of viewers are return viewers.
  4. Post at least one fish habitat research brief per week. Briefings would cover fish habitat papers released in relevant journals (AFS and non-AFS journals) that are of interest to the fish habitat community. Posts would have a link to the website. Metric: Built an 11-person blogging and social media team that has just begun producing one blog posting per week.
  5. Website should link to other relevant sources of information (e.g. The Fisheries Blog). Complete (and ongoing).
  6. Website should be reorganized to facilitate increased use. Complete.
  7. Cross-post tweets and research briefs to Facebook page.
  8. Metric: Since November 1, 2015: Our posts were seen by 18,514 people, clicked by 988, and liked or shared by 600.
  9. To succeed a “roll-out” plan should be utilized to gain initial interest in the revised website.


Type of Online Resource (e.g., website, social media) Number of Unique Visits Time Spent per Visitor Other
Website and social media See above Section and AFS members >20,000 including Section members and public


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.

See summary of the Section’s social media efforts above under Strategy 7.

Technique Used (e.g., survey, focus group, social media) Number of Entries Outcome


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


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
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 Contributed to the Skinner Award Fund


Contributed to the EO Section for student travel


Sponsored Western Division Student Colloquium


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


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.

See above under Strategy 1 regarding the Section’s business meeting at Portland. Section officers also hold occasional conference calls to discuss business and rely on emails to conduct routine operations.

Type of Activity (e.g., leadership meeting, financial status, elections) Description and Status Comments


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

Type of Review Frequency Comments