Annual Meeting

AFS Cal-Neva Annual Meeting

AFS Cal-Neva Annual Meeting Canceled!

Cal-Neva AFS Members and 2020 Meeting Attendees:

We regret to inform you that the upcoming annual meeting, to be held March 15-17, 2020 in Folsom, CA, is canceled. This was a very difficult decision for the meeting planning and executive committees to make. Given the uncertainties associated with COVID-19 and restrictions on travel and meeting attendance, we felt it was in the best interest of meeting attendees, their families, and the public to cancel this gathering. Additionally, because several speakers and registrants are being restricted from participating, or have decided that it is in their own best interest not to attend, we feel the quality of the program is greatly compromised.

Cal-Neva Chapter will be issuing full refunds through Eventbrite for registration. Just a reminder, too, that if you booked a room at the Lake Natoma Inn to cancel your room reservation as soon as possible so that rooms can be rebooked. We would like to give a special shout-out to Lake Natoma Inn for their exceptional service and graciousness in not only accommodating the various hosting needs of our meeting, but also providing us with a very fair arrangement for canceling on very short notice. We look forward to working with the Inn on future engagements, and highly recommend them to those seeking accommodations when visiting the Sacramento region.

Another reminder – Do not forget to vote in the election for new Cal-Neva officers (President-Elect and Secretary), if you have not already done so. Current chapter members were sent an e-mail on February 15, 2020 with a code enabling them to vote by SurveyMonkey. Voting will continue through 3:00 PM, Monday, March 16, 2020. We will announce election results through a newsblast and on the Chapter website.

What is perhaps most disappointing about having to cancel this meeting is knowing that presenters have put great effort into preparing their oral and poster presentations. This work is obviously the chief reason for holding annual meetings and we wish to express our appreciation for your efforts and invite you to join us at the next annual meeting in 2021 to share and discuss your work, location and dates to be determined.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved in planning this meeting. Special thank you to Dave Lentz for leading the effort under extraordinary circumstances, with this, the “Reno Hangover Meeting,” coming off the heels of the joint AFS-TWS mega meeting held just last fall in Reno, Nevada. Dave led an exceptional team of planning committee volunteers to produce a great program. Many, many thanks to all involved for a job immensely well done, despite the cancellation.

Please stay tuned for announcements about future events and other chapter activities as we all navigate through current uncertainties. Most of all, take care, everyone.


2020 AFS California-Nevada Chapter Annual Meeting

(followed by the Interagency Ecological Program Annual Workshop)

Meeting Theme: Fisheries Success Stories

Location: Folsom, CA

March 15 – 17, 2020

The 2020 meeting will be held at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom, CA, March 15-17, 2020.  Continuing Education courses will be offered on Sunday, March 15 and plenary, symposia, and contributed papers will be Mon-Tues, March 16-17.

COVID-19 UPDATE – March 9, 2020

Concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) are naturally raising questions about whether the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society will hold its annual meeting as planned in Folsom, CA next week, March 15-17, 2020. After much discussion and consideration within the Chapter’s Executive Committee, we have decided to stay our course and move forward with hosting the meeting, so long as it appears prudent to do so.

The Cal-Neva Executive Committee is closely monitoring health advisories and travel policies associated with COVID-19 for the Sacramento Region, California, Nevada, and more broadly to continue to make informed decisions about next week’s meeting.

We will be summarizing more detailed information about best practices to use at the meeting for minimizing risk of virus spread. In addition, we are working with Lake Natoma Inn to modify, for example, arrangements for food service that will be more in-line with general best practices. Please check this meeting webpage for further updates.

We look forward to seeing, but not touching, you in Folsom 😊

Cal-Neva AFS Executive Committee
and Annual Meeting Planning Committee


Call for Symposium Proposals, Oral Presentations & Posters —

The Cal-Neva Program Committee is now accepting proposals for symposia, oral presentations, and posters to be included in the 2020 Annual Meeting program. Symposia proposals may be submitted through January 31, 2020. Abstracts for oral presentations and posters may be submitted through February 28, 2020.

Proposals: Submit a brief (<250 words) abstract that describes your proposed symposium.  Please make sure to include any expected outcomes (e.g., may include publications, proposals, recommendations, and other action items).

Abstracts:  Submit an abstract (<250 words) that follows AFS guidelines (

Submit proposals through the online proposal and abstract submission Google Form:

Registration is now open! Before registering, please review the AFS Meetings Code of Conduct, posted below. Register and get information on registration costs, meeting events, and continuing education courses at the Eventbrite registration site here:

Lodging Information

The link to the room block is:

If you prefer to book via phone, you can make reservations under the “AFS meeting” room block at $95/night by calling 800-808-5253. Space at this rate is limited.

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you a student or young professional? Volunteer for at least 4 hours at this year’s Cal-Neva AFS annual meeting and get your registration waived! Volunteering for AFS is a great way to contribute much-needed support to the conference and network with other fisheries professionals.

  • A/V Support
  • Registration and Merchandise Desk
  • Poster Setup
  • Spawning Run
  • Student-Mentor Lunch
  • Banquet Raffle Ticket Sales

To volunteer please contact

Student-Mentor Lunch

The Mentor-Student Lunch will be held on Monday, March 16. The Student-Mentor lunch is one of the most rewarding opportunities for our members. Students can ask questions about what it’s like to work in a variety of fisheries careers and workplaces, and how to craft a meaningful work-life pathway. Professionals gain the satisfaction of sharing their advice and experience with our young dynamic members on the threshold of their careers. Lunch is provided – you bring the questions and insights! Please check-off the box on the registration form if you’re interested in attending. We need professionals to serve as mentors, as well as interested students. Space is limited so reply soon!

Fish T-Shirt Contest

Remember to bring your favorite fish T-shirt for the contest to be held during the Monday Banquet. There will be two prizes awarded–one for the most outstanding AFS-related T-shirt and one for the most outstanding All-Purpose, Any Fish-Related Theme T-shirt.

Spawning Run

Register for this year’s spawning run for a scenic 5k along Lake Natoma! There will be a 1st place prize! Download the flyer with route map here.

Meeting Program (download PDF version here)


Continuing Education Courses

Course 1: Federal Endangered Species Act

Course Description:

This course will provide a history and overview of the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) with a focus on the major sections of the federal ESA that govern federal listings, recovery planning, habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, interagency consultations, science and enhancement permits, and enforcement. Case studies will be presented on several topics and an ESA handbook will be provided to all participants.

Who should attend:

The workshop will host guest speakers on specific topics. Participants with no formal training on the ESA are welcome to attend.


Charlotte Ambrose (NOAA Fisheries), Amanda Cranford (NOAA Fisheries)

Charlotte Ambrose has worked for NOAA Fisheries over 20 years and is currently the California Programs Coordinator stationed in Sacramento. She acts as a statewide liaison for NOAA Fisheries on salmon and steelhead programs and initiatives of statewide or regional significance. Charlotte recently served in the capacity of Recovery Coordinator responsible for developing and implementing federal recovery plans for California Central Coast coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia and experience in both the public and private sectors (where she worked for six years as a wildlife and forestry consultant). Charlotte is most recognized for her leadership working with the California Board of Forestry to improve forest practice regulations for the benefit of salmonids and their habitats.

Amanda Cranford has worked for NOAA Fisheries for just over 5 years and is currently a Natural Resource Management Specialist stationed in Sacramento, California. In her current role, Amanda serves as the Central Valley Hatchery Coordinator, assisting with the development of Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) and the associated permitting for anadromous hatchery programs throughout the Central Valley. Amanda is also the Central Valley point-of-contact for research and enhancement permits and acts as a liaison to NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Division staff who issue and oversee the majority of the research permits in California. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis and has experience working for both state and federal natural resource agencies, including time as a contractor. Amanda’s recent accomplishments include being the recipient of a U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for assisting with the implementation of the Battle Creek Winter-run Chinook Salmon Jumpstart Reintroduction Project.

Course 2: Introduction to Practical Statistics with R

Course Description:

This course will cover basic concepts in statistics with an emphasis on the statistical computing program R. Course topics will include data visualization and descriptive statistics, publication quality graphics, common probability distributions, statistical tests, and an introduction to general linear models. Each topic will begin with background material, followed by a code demonstration, and ending with hands-on exercises so attendees can gain experience writing, running, and troubleshooting their own R code. Students will also be encouraged to help each other, as this is normal practice for the community of scientists who use R for data analysis. Instructors will also provide copies of course materials for students to reference in the future.

Who should attend:

A basic understanding of statistics is important for anyone working in a science field who has a need or desire to read and write peer-reviewed articles and technical reports, prepare presentations and posters for conferences, design experiments, research data analysis methods, or make science-based policy decisions. Statistical skills can help individuals grow in their careers, whether they are looking for their first fisheries job or whether they are looking to move from one role to the next (e.g., from technician to scientist, from scientist to senior scientist, or from scientist to manager). This course is designed for fisheries research professionals at any level who have had some exposure to basic statistical concepts but who may need a refresher course. Participants with no formal exposure to these concepts are also welcome, though we expect the majority of attendees will have had some prior exposure through school or work experience. Although many of these concepts will be unchanged in the time since participants may have first encountered them, it is beneficial for individuals to refresh their skills, particularly if they do not currently use statistics on a regular basis. By using R, we aim to demonstrate that using statistics on a regular basis—perhaps even a daily basis—can be easy and beneficial for their short and long term career goals. By becoming familiar with R, participants will be opening the door for more advanced methods of analysis that are not covered in this workshop but that may be useful later on.


Lara Mitchell (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Vanessa Tobias (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Lara is a statistician with over seven years of experience writing code and analyzing date for federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. She has an M.S. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Applied Math and Physics, and an A.A. in Programming. She enjoys synthesizing data analysis and software development to solve complex problems, translate solutions into usable code, build tools to analyze and visualize data, and promote collaboration. She is especially fond of helping others troubleshoot their code so they can move forward with their projects.

Vanessa has almost a decade of experience working with monitoring data in the San Francisco Estuary. She is a Mathematical Statistician at the USFWS Lodi Fish and Wildlife Office and was previously a Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) on the Synthesis Team at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Her postdoctoral work at UC Davis included experience as a statistician for wildlife monitoring programs run by the National Wildlife Refuges. Vanessa also has several years of teaching experience and enjoys helping students learn new skills.

[ Course 3: Presentation Skills and Poster Design ] COURSE CANCELLED

Course Description:

Learn to improve your communication skills with both oral and poster presentations. Topics include identifying your presentation goal, clearly stating your message, developing and organizing appropriate content, designing slides, and posters, delivering the presentation, and more. The course also provides instruction on preparing the presentation environment, including moderating a session, lighting, room layout, and equipment. Attendees will have an opportunity to practice their presentations and/or share their posters and receive constructive critique by the class.

Who should attend:

Anyone who desires to improve his or her communication skills will benefit from the course.


J.D. Wikert (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

J.D. Wikert is a habitat restoration coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working on salmon habitat. He regularly gives presentations both professionally and personally. He developed the course hoping to increase the quality of conference presentations. J.D. has taught the course numerous times for AFS meetings, and for both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries Services.





American Fisheries Society (AFS) meetings are among the most respected scientific meetings of fisheries professionals in the natural resource scientific community. AFS values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among all attendees, and is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and AFS staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, service providers, and others, are expected to abide by this Meetings Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all AFS meeting-related events, including those sponsored by organizations other than AFS but held in conjunction with AFS events, in public or private facilities.

Expected Behaviors:

  • Treat all participants, attendees, AFS staff, and vendors with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions, and critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other attendees, participants, AFS staff, and suppliers/vendors.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert AFS staff or venue event staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, AFS-contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • To foster a welcoming environment, assist AFS members with impaired physical or cognitive abilities, if necessary.

Unacceptable Behaviors:

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form is unacceptable. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be sure respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior. Regardless of your intent, if you are advised directly or by another party that some aspect of your speech or behavior at an AFS meeting is harassment, you are expected to stop engaging in such speech or behavior.
  • Do not physically or verbally abuse any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, AFS staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, unwelcome or offensive verbal comments related to age, appearance, or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion. Harassment can also include the use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; bullying behavior; inappropriate physical contact; and unwanted sexual attention.
  • Appropriate and responsible personal use of photographs or posts to social media of another individual’s oral presentation, poster, or likeness is acceptable unless permission is specifically denied by the individual.
  • Do not disrupt talks at oral or poster session or activities in the exhibit hall or at other events organized by AFS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other AFS-contracted facilities.
  • Any retaliation against participants for reporting unacceptable behavior is unacceptable. Like harassment or discrimination, retaliation against reporting poor behavior will be subject to consequences.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior:

  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notifying facility security without delay.
  • If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, you are encouraged to file a formal complaint to the AFS Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee and/or an AFS officer or the AFS Executive Director which will then be forwarded to the Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee for assessment.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • Consequences to unacceptable behavior will be determined by the AFS Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee in conjunction with AFS officers and the AFS Executive Director.
  • Consequences may include one or more of the following actions:
    • Dismissal from the meeting without refund
    • Reporting to your agency
    • Exclusion from any future AFS (sub unit/chapter/division) meetings for five years
    • Revoke of AFS membership without the opportunity for renewal for five years
    • If the offense is criminal, local law enforcement will be contacted.