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February 28, 2018 @ 8:00 am - March 2, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

The 52nd Annual Meeting of the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society marked a successful return to San Luis Obispo, with more than 250 attendees and more than 80 oral presentations and 40 posters! The Student-Mentor Lunch, an important opportunity to connect students with experienced professionals, was well attended. And while there were only two field tours, due to strained resources from the fires and resultant slides nearby, both received great reviews. In addition, we were able to offer four fantastic continuing education opportunities.

Our plenary session kicked-off with updates from representatives of all levels of the American Fisheries Society; Laurie Earley (Cal-Neva Chapter President), Jackie Watson (Western Division President-Elect), and Dan Cassidy (AFS Deputy Executive Director). These updates were followed by our plenary speakers, whose talks all revolved around the theme of the conference, “Outside the Bubble – Communicating with Our Communities.”

The first of our speakers was Dr. Jesse Trushenski, Director of Animal Health and Welfare for Evaqua Farms and AFS President-Elect. Dr. Trushenski provided her perspective on how we can break our own bad habits, including only communicating amongst ourselves, and thereby break out of our bubbles. She was followed by Dr. Dean Wendt, the Dean of School of Science and Mathematics, Director of the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences, and Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance at California Polytechnic State University. Dr. Wendt presented his work with assessing the success of marine reserves by engaging the commercial fishing community to help collect data. Unfortunately, Dr. Steve Gaines, Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara, was unable to present as planned, having come down with a bad case of the flu the evening before. However, with very little time to prepare, Dr. Stewart Reid of Western Fishes agreed to fill in and gave an engaging and entertaining talk about how he engaged with landowners in Modoc County during the recovery of the Modoc Sucker. I would like to personally thank Dr. Reid for agreeing to speak in front of such a large audience with so little forewarning.

We’d like to thank Embassy Suites for providing delicious meals for our banquet. We’d also like to acknowledge our raffle sponsors for their contributions, including: Sawyer, Cheeky Fly Fishing, Rio Products, Granite Rocx, Karl Strauss, Restop, Eartheasy, Mepps, San Diego Fly Fishers, California Trout, Tenkara USA, Mountain Khakis, Kayak City, and Steelhead Vineyards. The raffle was stocked with fantastic prizes, and we had some fantastic wines and art for the silent auction.

See the final program for the 52nd Annual Chapter Meeting here.


Chapter Awards

The Chapter also recognized the contributions of the following individuals:

  • Rachel Johnson, Distinguished Professional Achievement
  • Tom Taylor, Distinguished Professional Achievement


We would also like to acknowledge our students for their efforts. In addition to many of our student members volunteering their time to help run the conference, they contributed many great oral and poster presentations. While our students always produce high quality presentations, the following students were recognized for doing exceptionally well:

Student Oral Presentation Award Winners

1stMegan Sabal, UC Santa Cruz

Migration decisions made under the risk of predation for wild and hatchery salmon

2ndKatherine Dale, UC Santa Cruz

Morphology affects dispersal of eel larvae in the Eastern Pacific

3rdSabrina Beyer, UC Santa Cruz

Poor oceanographic conditions likely to reduce reproductive output in multiple brooding rockfishes

Student Poster Award Winners

1stMiranda Tilcock, UC Davis

Eye Lenses as an Alternative to Otoliths for Reconstructing Life Histories of Juvenile Salmon

2ndEly Boone, Humboldt State University

Using Environmental DNA to Detect Pacific Lamprey in Water Samples in Northern California

3rd (tie) – Madison Halloran, Humboldt State University

Juvenile Coho Salmon Life History Variants in Humboldt Bay Tributaries

 3rd (tie) – Grace Ghrist, Humboldt State University

The Effect of Juvenile Life History on the Marine Survival Rate of Coho Salmon


Katrina Martin Memorial Award

Hayley Farr, California Polytechnic State University

Environmental Impacts of Deepwater Floating Wind and Wave Energy Facilities


Summary by Steven Brumbaugh, AFS Cal-Neva Past-President (2018-2019)


February 28, 2018 @ 8:00 am
March 2, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
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