Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
The 2005 meeting of the Southeastern Fishes Council was called to order by chairperson Hank Bart at 4:15 PM on 8 July 2005 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel and Marina in Tampa, Florida. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 85th annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Twenty-eight people attended the meeting, including 20 current members, 3 members of the executive committee (Hank-Bair-chair elect, Frank Pezold-Treasurer, and Brett Albanese-Secretary), and 5 other people interested in the conservation of Southeastern Fishes.
31st Annual Meeting (2005)
Southeastern Fishes Council
Hank urged the members to check the SFC website often and to respond to SFC emails quickly. He also discussed the possibility of creating an SFC listserve.
Brett indicated that last years minutes were approved electronically and announced that he had SFC buttons and SFC membership forms for anyone interested.
In Kyle Piller's absence, Hank Bart read the Treasurers report aloud. There is a balance of $10, 718 in the checking account. We currently have 55 members paid in full, but only 2 members are students. There are many additional members on the roles who have not paid dues in a long time. Hank requested that these delinquent members either pay up or ask Kyle to cancel their membership.
Hank urged everyone to encourage students to join SFC (see discussion on meeting venue under old business).
Bernie Kuhajda accepted his nomination for the chair-elect position. Martin O'Connell agreed to serve as editor and will take over as soon as Frank Pezold completes the latest edition of the Proceedings. Brett Albanese, Kyle Piller, and Chris Skelton agreed to continue on in the secretary, treasurer, and associate editor positions, respectively.
Frank Pezold reported that one issue of the Proceedings came out last year and another issue will be coming out very soon. Frank suggested that all back issues be kept by the Treasurer, since the treasurer is required to collect payment before mailing out back issues. Back issues were not scanned into searchable text PDFs for webposting, as discussed at last years business meeting. Hank suggested that Kyle Piller may be able to assist Marty O'Connell with scanning. Hank noted that some of the most recent issues of the Proceedings have not yet been posted on the website.
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Noel Burkhead announced that he is coordinating a status revision of all North American freshwater fishes for the AFS endangered species committee. A display describing the revision and providing an opportunity for written comments was posted in the hotel. Noel urged all SFC members to comment on any species for which they have expertise.
Mollie Cashner reported that no resolutions were suggested by the membership during the past year. Bernie Kuhajda then described a proposed subdivision near Birmingham, Alabama that could negatively impact both the rush darter and the vermillion darter. The Jefferson County planning and zoning commission will discuss the proposal during the second week of July. Bernie agreed to draft a resolution immediately, with the hope that a quorum of SFC members could officially pass the resolution before the end of the ASIH meeting. It was later decided that the letter should be emailed to the entire membership.
Someone suggested that the SFC look into a proposed interstate through the Georgia mountains. Following a brief discussion, this person suggested that members from Georgia research the issue further and report back to the SFC.
Whereas Jim Williams is a down to earth fellow due to his affinity for clams and other benthos, he suggested that future resolutions not be phrased in such formal language. Instead, future resolutions will be written in letter format and should contain all of the facts needed to justify an advocacy position approved by the membership. Therefore, be it further resolved, that future resolutions approved by the SFC not be phrased in arcane, legalese language, except in cases where such language would convey a stronger meaning to the target audience.
In order to eliminate an extra step in the resolution process, Hank Bart suggested that the responsibility of creating a resolution should rest with the person who proposed the resolution or an ad-hoc committee comprised of members with expertise in the particular issue. This requires that the resolutions committee be changed to an ad-hoc committee in the SFC constitution. All members in attendance voted
Bernie Kuhajda was elected to the chair-elect position by a unanimous show of hands. Martin O'Connell was then elected to the editor position by a unanimous show of hands.
Hank Bark was not able to receive funding for the SFC education initiative he discussed at last year's business meeting. The goal of the initiative is to integrate rare fishes into educational programs for elementary and high-school students. Hank will continue to pursue funding for the initiative, possibly in joint cooperation with the Southeast Aquatic Resource Partnership (SARP).
Several members expressed that our highly variable meeting venue has prevented us from meeting our goal of engaging students and agency personnel in the SFC. One solution to this problem is to meet with the Southern Division American Fisheries Society each year, regardless of where ASIH is meeting. If we stick to our regular schedule of alternating between ASB and SDAFS, except when ASIH meets in the South, five years will elapse between SFC-SDAFS meetings. The next meeting of the SDAFS will be in San Antonio Texas. Hank noted that there is nothing to prevent us from attending both ASIH and SDAFS, since the SDAFS meeting occurs in the spring and the ASIH meeting occurs in the summer. Brett Albanese offered that we should sponsor some sort of visible event at the SDAFS meeting every year, which may include a social event, a symposium, or at the very least, a business meeting. Steve Ross requested that we pass any changes to the meeting venue by the entire membership via email, because of the strongly held views on the subject. Hank agreed to draft a proposal and circulate it to the membership.
Steve Walsh proposed that SFC help support student lodging costs to the SDAFS meeting next year. Frank Pezold added that any award programs for students be published in Copeia and Fisheries, among other outlets. After several minutes of meandering diatribes, Mollie Cashner silenced the room with a clear-cut and economically viable proposal for student travel awards. Mollie proposed that $250.00 travel awards be offered to students traveling to the Southern Division American Fisheries Society meeting. Winners will be selected by random draw, to avoid the need for judging papers. Non-members would be required to purchase a student membership in order to get their name in the raffle, which would insure growth in student membership and offset the cost of the award program. Everyone thought Mollie's proposal should be pursued. Since we voted on a similar proposal at last year's meeting, Hank indicated that we did not need to vote on it again. Hank indicated that he would ask Kyle to identify the number of awards that we can offer next year.
Finally, Hank indicated that he and Kyle are investigating the feasibility of using Paypal to collect membership fees. This would cut down on Kyle Piller's time traveling back and forth to the bank.
Noel Burkhead, incoming chair, discussed his goal of increasing interactions between the Southeastern Fishes Council and southeastern DNR agencies. He proposed an alliance with the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) as one strategy for achieving this goal, as many southeastern DNR agencies have appointed high-level decision makers to the SARP initiative. Noel believes that we can offer SARP our expertise on southeastern fishes. In return, we may have important influence on the type of projects pursued by SARP. As an additional step, Brett Albanese suggested that we get at least one person from each state agency to appoint a representative to the Southeastern Fishes Council.
At the conclusion of the meeting, outgoing chair Hank Bart urged everyone to attend the next meeting of the SDAFS, whether or not we decide to hold our official business meeting there. The meeting was officially adjourned shortly after 6PM.
Brett Albanese, Secretary