Annual Meeting

Cal-Neva Chapter Annual Meeting

Cal-Neva Chapter of the American Fisheries Society 52nd Annual Meeting

San Luis Obispo, CA

February 28-March 2, 2018
Embassy Suites
333 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405



Theme of the 52nd Annual Meeting 

We all have groups in which we feel safe, where we are more comfortable, and communication comes a bit easier – our bubbles. The scientific community, and specifically the fisheries community, is a bubble we all operate in. Meetings such as this provide an important forum for scientists to share their research, educate one another, and inspire each other. They allow us to collaborate with those who share our interests, educational background, and experiences. However, science is being questioned more now than ever. Academic, or simply scientific, is being taken by many to be synonymous to elitist. At this critical time, we must find ways to engage those outside our scientific bubble and relate our research to their everyday lives. We must share how we strive to keep science objective, clearly explain why and how we use complex math and models, be transparent about our assumptions and imperfections, and effectively convey the significance of our results to our communities. We must use this climate as a catalyst for changing the way we communicate our science. An opportunity to show people that science is about asking questions and making discoveries, and that these findings can influence their future and their children’s future. If we do not effectively communicate with people outside our bubble, then science-based policy will likely remain an ideal, rather than reality.

*If you would like to sponsor or make a donation to the annual meeting, see more information about the benefits of each sponsorship level.


Registration & Abstract Submission Now Open!      

Early Bird Registration Costs                                                                                   
Regular Member: $250
Student Member: $65
Young Professional: $125
Non-Member: $300
Retired AFS: $175
1-Day (Member or Non-member): $125
1-Day (Young Professional): $80
Banquet: (guest, not registered): $55

*Full price registration costs will begin after January 20th, 2018.

Continuing Education Courses (Free for students, $50 for full day, $25 for half-day)

Continuing Education Course 1: eDNA Techniques for Biological Assessment

Description: Despite considerable investment of time and resources, information outcomes from monitoring programs can be substandard or unnecessarily limited in utility. Rapid technical advancements in population genetics and molecular biology are providing many novel, relatively low cost techniques and technologies that are applicable and powerful tools for biologists.

These technical advancements can be applied to refine information about the presence/absence of cryptic organisms, geographic and seasonal distributions, and community structure. This course will provide attendees with a working knowledge of molecular diagnostics terminology and procedures.  Examples showing both aquatic and terrestrial applications will be used to bring procedures to life.

Length: Full-day (8 hours)

Instructors: Scott Blankenship and Gregg Schumer – Cramer Fish Sciences-Genidaqs, West Sacramento, CA

Continuing Education Course 2: Fish Passage and Screening

Description: Anadromous fishes, such as salmon, trout, lamprey and sturgeon, are not only key features of ecosystem function, but are vital aspects of our heritage, culture, economy, and health. As they utilize both freshwater and marine environments, these fish are concurrently subjected to the multiple stressors of an ever-increasing human population, facing habitat degradation and fragmentation.  Many non-anadromous fish also make significant migrations, including catostomids and cyprinids, and are faced with similar impacts.

Of the many stressors facing migratory fishes, one of the most profound and understated is human-caused barriers to their natural migration. In California alone there are over 29,000 barriers to anadramous fish migration, blocking access to at least 75% of their historic range.

This workshop will introduce participants to the field of fish passage, a subsidiary of the broader stream restoration community, drawing on a diverse array of traditional disciplines such as civil engineering, hydrology, geomorphology, biology, and ecology. The workshop will provide participants a working framework to approach fish passage projects, with a practical and working emphasis on lowhead (less than 10 meters) barriers at road crossings. We will cover several aspects of fish passage in this course, ranging from barrier assessment to design to construction.

Length: Full-day (8 hours)

Instructors: Joseph E. Merz and Rocko Brown – Cramer Fish Sciences, West Sacramento, CA

Continuing Education Course 3: R Introduction

This course is designed for participants who wish to gain beginning to intermediate skills in using R for manipulating, visualizing, and analyzing their fisheries data.  R is a programming language designed for statistical computing that is open source and free to download. R is a powerful and highly flexible tool for graphical display, data configuration, and statistical analysis. Today, R is one of the most widely used statistical software across various scientific fields.

This class will be taught using fishery data from the San Francisco Estuary collected by various agencies (e.g. California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, etc.) and instructor-led examples from their own studies and manuscripts. It is applicable to anyone that conducts environmental monitoring or uses environmental data for research, management, or policy-making and is recommended for anyone needing to become proficient with R basics.

The goal of this workshop is to allow the attendees to understand the potential uses of R when working with fisheries and environmental data. Attendees will learn how to sort and aggregate data, create a variety of high quality and easily customizable graphical display, and perform common data diagnostic and statistical tests.

Please note that attendees will need to bring a laptop to class with the R software program installed. Instructions on how to download the program will be emailed out prior to the class. Instructors will also be available to help attendees with the download at the beginning of class if needed.

Length: Full-day (8 hours)

Instructors: Brian Mahardja and Pascale Goertler – California Department of Water Resources, West Sacramento, CA

Continuing Education Course 4: Surviving Peer-Review

In this workshop, we’ll review the basics of technical articles and then launch into an in-depth discussion of the peer-review process, roles and responsibilities of reviewers and editors, and how constructive reviews can help authors achieve the goals of Surviving Peer Review. We will also provide recommendations on how to shepherd a manuscript through the revision and resubmission process.

Length: Half-day (4 hours)

Instructor: Jesse Trushenski – Idaho Fish and Game, Eagle, ID

Call for Symposia & Papers 

  • Abstracts for contributed papers and posters due by January 26, 2018
  • Proposals for symposia and technical sessions extended deadline, December 22, 2017.

Soliciting for a wide range of topics for symposia, contributed papers, and posters, such as:

  • New research
  • Monitoring results
  • Partnerships
  • Challenges/Solutions
  • Innovation

Keep checking back for further details to follow: 

  • Plenary Speakers
  • Technical Sessions and Symposia
  • Daily Schedule and Rooms

Student Specific Information

Travel funds – To be considered for individual travel funding or additional student subunit funding for the meeting please see the travel grant application. You’ll want to notify your student subunit of attendance to be included in the Chapter proposal for support. ** Students interested in volunteering at the meeting, please see further information on the student page.

Best Student Poster & Oral Presentation Contest – When submitting your abstract we encourage you to be included in the student presentation contest. There will be 3 awards for posters and oral  presentations and professional feedback will be provided.

Professional Mentor Lunch – Sign up for the mentor lunch when registering for the meeting. The cost is free to students and you will get the opportunity to talk with numerous professionals working in fisheries-related fields (academic, state & federal agencies, private consulting, etc.). Explore more about what you might want to do after graduating and ask questions!

Fun Meeting Activities

Field Trips ($20) – More field trip information to come

Spawning Run ($20, register on Eventbrite site)


The Cal Neva Chapter of the American Fisheries Society is pleased to have reserved the following accommodations and arrangements for the 2018 Annual Meeting:

Embassy Suites, San Luis Obispo, 333 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405. (805-549-0800)

The rate of $ 123.00 per night (plus prevailing city and local lodging taxes, currently 13.195%) is available until February 6, 2018. When making reservations, use “American Fisheries Society” to identify the room block.

  • Two-room suites with a separate bedroom and living space refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker
  • Cooked to order breakfast each morning
  • Two-hour hosted evening reception presented nightly
  • Free self-serve parking
  • Complimentary Airport shuttle to and from the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport and the Amtrak Train Station from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Alternatively, there are other hotels in the area, but the CalNeva Chapter does not have any reservation accommodations outside of Embassy Suites.

Additional Registration Information

All attendees and guests must register. Please note that the Cal-Neva Chapter does not waive registration fees for symposium, oral and poster presenters.

Registration for the full event includes one banquet ticket and two beverage tickets.

Alternate Registration Payment Options

Registrations will be accepted through Eventbrite only. Alternate registration payment options are now available for those who will be paying by check or restricted credit cards. In addition, we will also accept payment at the door. Please select your payment options in Eventbrite.

  • Checks: Write your Eventbrite Order Number on the check, or enclose a copy of your Eventbrite receipt, and send to:Cal-Neva Chapter AFS, P.O. Box 72653, Davis, CA 92653.

Mailed payments must be postmarked on or before April 7, 2017. Checks will also be accepted at the door.

  • Paying off-line by credit card available
  • Purchase order and invoiced registrations is available

Please contact James Hobbs: for other payment options.

Registration Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be issued based on the timing of the cancellation. Registration fees will be refunded in full if cancelled prior to the Early Registration deadline (February 25, 2017). The refund rate will be 50% after the Early Registration deadline through Monday, April 3, 2017. Thereafter, no refunds will be permitted.


A Note to Potential Donors

Please contact our Fundraising Coordinator Maddelyn Harden directly at

Thank-you to continued support from our current sponsors!

Floy Tag & Manufacturing Inc. – Pupfish Level Sponsor

For more information please contact the following individuals: