Upcoming Symposium: Culture, Biology, and Management Of Asian Carps In North America.-- The Introduced Fish Section, in conjunction with the Fish Culture Section is hosting the symposium entitled Culture, Biology, and Management Of Asian Carps In North America at the upcoming annual meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas. Session organizers Duane Chapman of the IFS and Jesse Trushenski of the Fish Culture Section provide the following description of the symposium: Extreme population growth of bighead and silver carps in the large rivers and connected waters of the central United States, and the threat that they may invade the Laurentian Great Lakes, have caused great public concern and spurred enormous efforts in research and management of these species.  Grass carps and black carp are also Asian carps with worldwide aquaculture use and have similar importation history and reproductive strategies.  There is great concern that these fishes may have similar undesirable ecological effects and pose similar risks.   Research on these fishes is rapidly increasing our understanding of Asian carp biology. Management tactics and strategies, informed by new understanding, are in use that have never before been used in the control of invasive species.   At the same time, the worldwide benefits of these fishes as food fish and biological controls cannot be denied, and Asian carps remain important to both fisheries and aquaculture.  


This symposium is designed as a forum for those working for the control of Asian carps, and also for those working to achieve and retain benefits from these species, both in the wild and in aquaculture.  The session will include different perspectives of the Triploid Grass Carp Certification Program, a new risk assessment of grass carp in the Great Lakes, discuss the effectiveness of current management of wild Asian carps by harvest, and marketing strategies to enhance harvest.  The symposium will also include a description of the unique cohesive interagency management strategy that has evolved to combat the environmental problems, and new research on the biology and effects of these fishes.


Participation in HAMAR (Hatchery-origin Animals in Management of Aquatic Resources).

For decades, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) has worked with leading aquatic resource scientists and natural resource managers to describe effective roles of cultured fishes in aquatic resource management. Approximately every 10 years, a cross section of North American resource managers and representatives from AFS Sections and Divisions come together to address and reconcile contentious management issues regarding the uses of hatchery origin fish.


Most recently, this group met under the banner of “Propagated Fishes in Resource Management” (PFIRM), and produced Considerations for the Use of Propagated Fishes in Resource Management. These guidelines were the first comprehensive publication that tied science based information with political realities of management, and provided the aquatic resources community and decision makers with a set of consensus guiding principles for the use of hatchery origin fish.


Science based fisheries management findings continue provide new information to strengthen the decision making of natural resource agencies, and new challenges continue to emerge.  Now the next cycle of this process, tentatively titled “Hatchery origin Animals in Management of Aquatic Resources” (HAMAR) is underway. A symposium is being developed to serve as a fact finding session, targeting all current issues of concern related to the use of hatchery origin fish and shellfish.  Following the symposium, the HAMAR steering committee will distill the content of the symposium into a series of point/counterpoint summaries, collect additional information or perspectives as needed, and, via a facilitated workshop or similar process, oversee the development of the next set of guiding principles for the use of hatchery origin fish and shellfish in resource management.  Thank you to Jeff Hill, Past President of IFS, who serves as the section’s representative on the HAMAR steering committee.



Website and LISTSERV News.  The section maintains a website and list serve.  Thank you to Emily Haug who serves as the section’s web developer. The section has been successful in maintaining 200+ members, but only half are on the list serve.  Half the people on the list serve are not members.  Goal is to have 100% of membership on the list serve, and 75% of the list serve people as members. 



Splitting Treasurer and Secretary Position Into Two. To enable us to better share information with the section, and to better meet the increased technological responsibilities of the section, we are now working on splitting the treasurer and secretary position into two.  The membership had an opportunity to comment on the change in bylaws last year, and we will soon open up the process to a vote from the membership.



Establishment of Introduced Fish Section award. The section has approved a special recognition award for different categories related to excellence in outreach, journalism, and research.  The names of two nominees were submitted, and the process of recognition of the nominees is now underway.  In addition, a third individual is being recognized for his career-long work on the management of invasive species and work with legislatures to establish regulations preventing the spread of unwanted exotics.  Once awards are made, the names of the individuals will be announced. 



Student Travel Award. The IFS supports a student travel award for those who are involved in research related to introduced fishes.  Congratulations to Emily Cornwell from Cornell University who was last year’s award winner.  Thanks to the Student Travel Award committee consisting of Stan Cowton, Mark Pegg and Larry Connor.




Emily Cornwell receiving the 2012 IFS Student Travel Award. (Photo credit: Jeff Hill).





AFS 2012 – Twin Cities Wrap-up. The Twin Cities meeting was a great conference with lots of presentations on introduced species, networking, food, and fun. Special thanks to Peter Sorensen and Przemyslaw Bajer for organizing an outstanding and well-attended international symposium (Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes: Lessons Across Species and Regions). Plus, the silver carp feast was a great way to “control” those pesky jumpers! Hope to see everyone in Little Rock.



Introduced Fish Historical Highlight! Richard “Dick” Rule was one of the first fish commissioners in Arizona.  Back then, in the early 1880’s, the job of a fish commissioner was to promote stocking nonnative fishes in nearby rivers, lakes and streams.  To the newly arrived emigrants, the native Arizona fish were not nearly as tasty as the fishes from the eastern United States and Europe.  Therefore, fishes were moved West on rail cars and stocked in Western water bodies.  This legacy of introduced fishes in the West has been a decidedly mixed bag – supporting valuable sport fisheries, but resulting in huge impacts to native fishes.  And what of Dick Rule?  An Arizona fish commissioner was not a full time job.  Dick Rule was also a reporter for the Tombstone Nugget.  He was present at the shootout at the OK Corral and helped carry the bloodied Billy Clanton to a nearby house after he was shot by Wyatt Earp, the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday.  Rule’s reporting of the incident is generally considered one of the most accurate accounts of the gunfight.






Duane Chapman discusses his favorite topic, carp, on a field trip to field sites of the Sorenson and Bajer labs at the University of Minnesota. (Photo credit: Jeff Hill)






Silver carp on the menu at AFS—aka, tasty silver carp. (Photo credit: Jeff Hill)