Section Minutes – 2013

AFS Fish Habitat Section
American Fisheries Society
2013 Annual Business Meeting
Little Rock, AR
Monday 9 September 2013 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Ouachita Room The Marriott Little Rock

Present:  Section officers:  Joe Margraf, Past President; Kyle Hartman, President; John Sweka, Incoming President; Amanda Rosenberger, Secretary/Treasurer; and Sheila Eyler, Incoming Secretary/Treasurer.

  1. Call to order – Kyle Hartman, FHS President  called meeting to order 4:03


  1. Determination of Quorum – Kyle Hartman Quorum met (22 members including 4 officers)


  1. Recognition of officers and other guests – Kyle Hartman


  1. AFS Executive Director – Doug Austen
  2. AFS President  John Boreman


  1. Transfer of Presidency from Kyle Hartman to John Sweka
    1. Presentation of plaque to Kyle Hartman from John Sweka


  1. Current AFS Issues – AFS Leadership
    1. Statement by John Boreman:  John summarized changes occurring at the Governing Board and Management Committee levels.

i.      A retreat was conducted during the 2013 Annual Meeting to discuss changing the Governance Model of AFS without changing the constitution.  The intention is to reduce redundancy between the Management Committee and the Governing Board.  In the future, decision making will fall on Management Committee, which includes the Presidents of divisions plus 4 members at large (Section Presidents).  The Governing Board will work on long term issues of relevancy of organization.

ii.      Two changes were recommended to the Constitution.  That included making the Hutton Scholarship a standing Committee, and combining the Membership and Membership Concerns Committees.

iii.      John also discussed expanding the scope of Mentor program for emerging leaders along with permanent source of funding annually that will provide potential young leaders with funds to help defray travel costs to attend the early days of the annual AFS meetings to participate in AFS leadership meetings.

iv.      Statement from Joe Margraf regarding changes in AFS:  Joe also discussed changes in AFS.  He pointed out the changes in AFS don’t appear to be significantly different on the surface.  The Management Committee, of a smaller membership than the Governing Board, will be dealing with less critical decisions and not necessarily seek additional approval for all items from the Governing Board.   This reduces the redundancy of the approval process between the Management Committee and the Governing Board, making the process more streamlined while still retaining the diversity of the Governing Board.

  1. Statement by Doug Austen:  Doug discussed the importance of the linkage of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) with AFS.  There are 22 LCCs throughout the country that are coordinated by federal agencies.  Dr. Elsa Haubold is the new coordinator from USFWS.  Doug encouraged the Section to become involved with LCC’s.  He suggested the potential for doing a symposium with LCCs and AFS.


  1. President’s Comments – John Sweka
    1. John thanked past officers Joe Margraf (Past President), Kyle Hartman (President), and Amanda Rosenberger (Secretary Treasurer) for their service and thanked them for getting the Section started.  The Fish Habitat Section is one of the largest sections of AFS with membership of 253 regular members plus over seven hundred student members, but our annual meetings are not well attended.  John discussed how we can get people more active in our Section.  Ideas included offering more symposia, offering continuing education opportunities, and developing online training.  The intent of Section was to facilitate information sharing on habitat related issues and research.  As President, John wants to try to figure out how to get members more involved and what service our Section can provide to our members.
    2. John Boreman commented that Magnuson Act is currently being re-authorized and suggested that the habitat section of the Act be better developed.  Coordinators working on the Act re-authorization have follow-up questions with AFS about EFH and the Act.  John Boreman suggests that the Fish Habitat Section can work together with AFS to do briefings to go Congressional staff to better address fish habitat in the Act.  John Sweka agreed that this would be a useful service that this Section could provide.


  1. Approval of minutes from 2012 Business Meeting, St. Paul MN – Amanda Rosenberger

Amanda circulated copies of the minutes and had sent them out to the listserve prior to the meeting.  There were no comments or corrections suggested.  Bruce Vondracek moved to approve minutes, Joe Margraf seconded the motion.  Unanimous approval of minutes by the membership.


  1. Review of Financial Report – Amanda Rosenberger
    1. Amanda discussed primary income was from dues and our ending balance (as of 8/31/2013) was $6,834.04.  Expenses were primarily for refreshments from the Annual Meeting, webpage charges, travel for attendance at the Governing Board, and bank fees for transferring bank accounts.
    2. Due to a mis-understanding in reporting requirements, the Section has lost their non-profit status with the IRS.  Amanda will be resolving this issue and will reapply for non-profit status.  The IRS will require a $400 application feel that will be used from the Section Treasury.  The loss of non-profit status at the Section level has no impact on parent AFS organization’s standing with the IRS.

i.      John Boreman asked if AFS provided has provided guidance on the issue.  Amanda said somewhat and that she is currently working with Gail Goldberg (Unit Services Coordinator, Silver Spring) for additional guidance.

ii.      To complete the re-application Amanda will need to secure state certification.  It will probably be received from Maryland since that is the location of the parent organization.  It will also eliminate getting a new state certification every time a new Treasurer is elected from a state different than the current Treasurer.


  1. Committee Reports
    1. Nominating Committee – 2013 Officer Election Results – Joe Margraf

i.      The immediate Past President is Chair of the Nomination Committee.

ii.      There were 97 electronic votes for officer elections this year.  Electronic voting allowed for more individuals to participate in voting rather than conducting the vote at our Annual Meeting.  Strong candidates had been solicited from the Section listserv.  The election results:  Sheila Eyler for Secretary Treasurer and Tom Bigford for President Elect.  Tom writes article for Fish Habitat in Fisheries which is reviewed by the Section’s Executive Committee and provides visibility for our Section.

  1. Fish Habitat Section Webpage – Kyle Hartman

i.      Kyle looking for someone to take the webpage over.  We currently have a 2 year commitment to website.  Joe Margraf said he also solicited help on listserv, but has received no response.


  1. Old Business – John Sweka
    1. Symposia and Workshops sponsored by the Fish Habitat Section

i.      The FHS sponsored two symposia at the Annual Meeting this year

  1. Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Restoration: New Life for an Aging Resource moderated by Jeff Boxrucker.
  2. Ecosystem Connections:  Watershed Health, Anadromous Species, and Ocean Production.  FHS co-sponsored session and it is moderated by Eric Palkovacs, Theodore Castro-Santos, Karin Limburg, and Daniel Hasselman.
  1. Best Student Paper Award

i.      Three students will be presenting in the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Restoration Symposium that will be judged for a cash award from the Section.

ii.      John Sweka solicited help to have judges for the student presentations.  Andrew Hafs offered to assist in judging.

  1. Fish Habitat Section Awards

i.      We need someone who will take the lead on developing an award from our Section.  The National Fish Habitat Partnership would like to partner with the Section in an award.  John Sweka will need to contact Ryan Roberts from the NFHP.


  1. New Business
    1. Formation of New Symposium/Workshop Committee

i.      Our Section sponsored an Advanced GIS workshop.

ii.      Kyle Hartman suggested that we have a committee develop ideas and implement new symposia and workshops rather than that process being led by the Executive Committee.  Kyle has spoken with Bill Janowski about setting up a symposium and Bill has agreed to help with developing ideas.

iii.      Stan Moberly suggested calling it a “Project Committee” to encompass a potentially larger scope of interest.

iv.      Amanda Rosenberger suggested possibly developing a book that addresses standardized methodology for habitat sampling.  There is an existing two-series book on the topic, but it is lacking in large river sampling.  Initially having a symposium on the topic could be baseline for developing larger publication by assembling topics and authors.  Some members raised concerns that books are expensive and not necessarily profitable, so some thought should be put into material dissemination.

v.      Umi Muawanah suggested conducting a survey of members Section members and non-members to see what services the Section should provide.  John Sweka will work with Bill Janowski on developing a survey of the Section membership to determine what needs we should address.  John will work to refine those ideas for the next meeting.

vi.      John Boreman suggested standards and tools for conducting habitat restoration.  It would also be beneficial to have information about impacts of firefighting on fish habitat (i.e. dumping anti-inflammatory substances, cutting of trees, mudslides, etc.).  Potentially work with Bill Janowski on this topic.

vii.      Stan Moberly said continuing education is a good way for people to justify going to annual meetings.  He mentioned that the older workforce may be lacking in some skills, therefore workshops can be helpful.

viii.      Doug Sheppard suggested approaching the Bioengineering Section and discussing overlapping issues (i.e. dam removal, etc.) and develop symposia or workshops jointly.

ix.      Tom Busiahn would like to see the Section working in connection with NFHP on overlapping interests.  Possibly having a NFHP symposium as it relates to benefits for fish.

x.      Stan Moberly mentioned that a workshop can generate revenue for the Section, but a symposium will not unless it is published.  Kyle Hartman said workshops could be conducted at both national and regional meetings.

xi.      Russ Short suggested the topic of impacts of contaminated sediments on fish habitats.  He mentioned using a cross section of talent found in state and federal agencies to develop a workshop or symposium.

xii.      Tom Lang suggested developing a symposium on the impacts of drought on fisheries.

  1. Other

i.      Awards – Tom Lang said the Fisheries Administration Section has Sport Fish Restoration Award.  Possibly this Section could do something similar, traveling to states  and awarding individuals or groups for doing exceptional habitat work.

ii.      Facebook – Tom Lang will take the lead to develop a Facebook page for the Section.  John Sweka suggested we need to get additional content to both Tom for the Facebook page and to add to our Section website.  The Facebook page will be easier to update in a timely manner.

iii.      Membership Directory – Adam Kaeser suggested that Section develop a membership directory including member’s area of expertise to facilitate discussions among members.

iv.      Attendance – Amanda Rosenberger discussed how our annual Section meeting was scheduled so that we don’t overlap meeting times with other large sections (i.e. Water Quality Section, Education Section, and Fish Management Section).  In turn, our Section may have an odd time and location for meeting that might be impacting our attendance.  Stan Moberly suggested that we advertise a bit more to get better attendance and we need to have something to draw people to our meeting because there are so many other concurrent activities.  Joe Margraf said that this is a relatively new Section and time slots have been taken up by other groups by standing order of things.  As a new section, we have to take what is left with time and location.  Amanda wants to know if we should continue to schedule our annual meeting in order not to conflict with other large sections.  Possibly consider having joint meeting with another similar section?

v.      Pumped Storage – John Sweka relayed that Ted Castro-Santos had requested that our Section consider coming with an AFS Policy Statement on Pumped Storage facilities (hydropower).  The Policy could potentially recommend that new facilities must be “closed systems.”  T. Douglas Sheppard said that this could be potentially addressed during re-licensing for existing projects.  Impingement and entrainment can be a significant issue with pumped storage.  Pumped storage can impact both migratory and resident fishes, including impacts on reservoir fisheries.  Amanda Rosenberger asked if we want to approach policy committee to work on this issue.  Possibly have liaison with Policy Committee from our Section.  Our Section could draft policy and provide to Policy Committee for review and approval.  John Sweka mentioned that Ted Castro-Santos is willing to help draft this policy, but there are concerns about federal employees leading the development and approval of a policy.  John Boreman said the concerns about pumped storage might be better addressed in an Issue Paper.  John Sweka said he would discuss this with Ted and report back to the Section membership.

vi.      Listserv – John Sweka asked members to be sure their email address is included in the listserv.

vii.      New member – Tom Lang, Texas Parks and Wildlife (dues paid).

viii.      Volunteer List – John Sweka solicited help through a volunteer sign-up list at the meeting to address the topics discussed.  The list is included at the end of the meeting minutes.


  1. No other new business.  Joe Margraf motions to adjourn.  Motion seconded by Bruce Vondracek.  Motion unanimously approved by membership at 5:38 pm.

Quorum maintained throughout meeting prior to adjournment.


Volunteer Sign-up Sheet

Name Volunteer Topic Email
Forrest Payne Continuing education [email protected]
Adam Kaeser Membership Directory [email protected]
Lori Smith Facebook [email protected]
Tom Lang Facebook

National Outstanding Habitat Project Award

[email protected]
Tom Busiahn NFHP Symposia [email protected]
Umi Muawanah Member Survey [email protected]
Russ Short Habitat/Contaminated Sediment Workshop [email protected]
Thomas Litts [email protected]
Ross Andrew Student Outreach (WVU) [email protected]
Brian Alford Symposium/Workshop Organization [email protected]

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