Spring 2022 Newsletter
Quick Content Links
- President’s Message
- Our 2022 NCAFS Annual Meeting is on!
- Treasurer’s Report
- American Fisheries Society Officer Elections
- Updates on Aquatic Species Federal Rules and Recovery Planning in Eastern North Carolina
- NCFishes.com Team Updates
- Mentoring Committee Update
- NC State Student Fisheries Society
- Spring Reads
- Good Work! – Recent Publications by NCAFS Members
- Stories of Interest
- Call to Action!
- Valuable Links
I hope that everyone is doing well this spring. I have a quick reminder for members to renew your AFS and/or chapter membership. If you’re not a member of the parent organization, please consider joining and explore the many benefits of AFS membership.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in person at our chapter meeting. It has been a challenging few years and I grateful for the return of more normal operations. Enjoy the spring sampling season!
Submitted by Ryan Heise, NCAFS President
Our 2022 NCAFS Annual Meeting is on!
Join us for the 33rd Annual Meeting of the NC Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, which has been rescheduled for May 31 to June 2 at the Morganton Community House, in the lovely foothills town of Morganton, NC. After having to hold our 2021 meeting virtually and postponing our 2022 meeting due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s high time for us to present our work, learn from each other, network, and just enjoy being together again. Deadline for early registration is May 13!
We’ve got great plans – a first night social at a local brewery, an exciting workshop on how to use social science in aquatic management work, an inspiring plenary talk on using photography in aquatic conservation, diverse presentations, a delicious main social dinner, and our business meeting. And it will be early summer in Morganton, allowing us to enjoy long days and beautiful weather. See information for hotel reservations and more on our website here: https://nc.fisheries.org/2022-ncafs-meeting/ Some juicy details are below:
10:00-17:00 NC Mollusk Work Group Meeting
15:00-18:00 Fonta Flora Trail Bike Trip (bring your own bike)
18:30-? Pre-meeting Social (Fonta Flora Brewery)
8:00-12:00 NCAFS Workshop – Using Social Science to Foster Sound Fisheries Management and Aquatic Conservation
13:00-13:15 Opening Remarks
13:15-13:45 Plenary Speaker Todd Amacker: “Now You See ‘Em: Photography as a Conservation Tool”
14:00-17:00 Contributed Papers
18:30-22:00 Dinner, raffle, and poster session
8:00-12:00 Contributed Papers
13:30-15:00 NCAFS Business Meeting
We still need a few more presentations to round out our schedule! Our deadline for abstracts is now May 1. See our website for guidance on 20-minute full-length presentations, 7-minute lightning talks, and posters.
Continuing Education Workshop
NC Wildlife Resources Commission social scientists will provide a crash course on social science concepts and tools that we can integrate into our aquatic work, allowing us to design effective educational messages, make better resource management decisions, and foster environmental stewardship – ultimately, pushing the needle towards a net positive for aquatic conservation.
Attendees will learn how to collect and analyze social science data. Real world examples from past projects will be used to demonstrate how social science can benefit traditional population/community surveys. We will only scratch the surface of this discipline, but the workshop should help attendees understand how social science can benefit their work in the future.
Topic: Using Social Science to Foster Sound Fisheries Management and Aquatic Conservation
Instructors: Carrie Ruhlman, Kathryn Jewell, and/or Cristina Watkins (NCWRC)
Workshop Fee: $20 for NCAFS members, $25 for non-members
Course Capacity: Unlimited
It takes a crew to put on a good meeting, and volunteering is fun! If you would like to help out during the meeting, please contact Andrea Leslie ([email protected]).
Submitted by Andrea Leslie, Bryn Tracy, and Seth Mycko
Balances as of March 13, 2022
NCAFS Wells Fargo Checking Account: $11,672.71
NCAFS PayPal Account: $1,413.18
RRCC Wells Fargo Saving Account: $7,124.39
Edward Jones Ichthus (Student) Fund: $31,723.37
Edward Jones General Fund: $73,171.70
As of March 2022, the NC Chapter of the American Fisheries Society has a total of 12 NC AFS only members and 75 NC AFS and AFS parent society members for a total of 87 active members (subject to change). Of our total membership, 12 are students, 52 are professional members, and 15 are retirees or lifetime members. Thank you to everyone who has paid their dues! As a reminder, registration and workshop fees for the upcoming meeting are discounted for members!
In 2021, our chapter was able to support the Southern Division AFS meeting with a $500.00 donation. Here is a summary of the meeting:
- Over 400 registrants, including over 100 undergraduate and graduate students
- 7 technical committee meetings & 8 continuing education workshops
- Technical Sessions (1.5 days & 6 concurrent sessions)
- 36 poster presentations
- 150 oral presentations
- 4 plenary speakers
- >$32k in sponsorship fundraising from both partners here at the tradeshow and those that were unable to attend
- Contributions to the silent auction and SCAFS Student Raffle exceeding >$10k retail value
The chapter is also supporting the Wildlife Resources Commission and their work completing gene sequencing of the Cyprinella sp. “Thinlip” Chub with a $999.99 donation. Further details and a description of the outcome of this work will be provided soon!
NCFishes.com was granted a $950.00 donation to assist in their travel to photograph “big” river species. We will see the fruits of their labor soon with the addition of more amazing pictures to the website!
The chapter is still accepting donations for the Kwak children’s college funds in honor of Dr. Tom Kwak. So far, the chapter has collected and distributed over $2,500 dollars. Thank you to all who have donated, I know it is greatly appreciated! Donations are being accepted through the PayPal page (see below) or via check. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the donation process.
A detailed report of NCAFS’s 2021 transactions will be made available at the Business Meeting at the 2022 NCAFS meeting and will be posted to the website for review. For any questions regarding minutes, finances, or procedures, please contact me at [email protected] or 910-729-0872.
Submitted by Casey Joubert, NCAFS Secretary/Treasurer
American Fisheries Society Officer Elections
The Chapter’s own Kevin Dockendorf is on the ballot for AFS Second Vice President! If elected, Kevin will serve as president of the American Fisheries Society in 2026-2027. Ballots were mailed to AFS members on March 28 and voting continues through 5pm on April 29; check your inbox junk/spam folder if you haven’t received your ballot. Contact Lauren Maza if you have any questions about voting. Please turn-out and vote to support your fellow NCAFS Chapter member!
Submitted by the NCAFS Newsletter Committee
Updates on Aquatic Species Federal Rules and Recovery Planning in Eastern North Carolina
We have been busy at the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), enacting new protections for Atlantic Slope aquatic species while continuing partnerships to support their recovery. New listing rules and critical habitat designations that were finalized in the past year for the Carolina Madtom Noturus furiosus, Neuse River Waterdog Necturus lewisi, Atlantic Pigtoe Fusconaia masoni, and Yellow Lance Elliptio lanceolata. As the USFWS Recovery Coordinator for these and other aquatic species in the Raleigh Field Office work area, it has been wonderful to work closely with so many NCAFS members on conservation. As I approach my two-year anniversary in this position (entirely within the pandemic timeframe), I can’t express how much our professional network has been a comfort and a source of support in my transition. I’m energized for the recovery work ahead! Here’s a brief summary of recent actions, along with notes on recovery planning and implementation.
Carolina Madtom. The final rule listing the Carolina Madtom as endangered was published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2021 (86 FR 30688), with an effective date of July 9, 2021. This rule also designated 257 river miles of critical habitat in seven units. Occupied critical habitat units include: the upper Tar River, Sandy/Swift Creek, and Fishing Creek subbasins of the Tar-Pamlico River basin and the Little River and Contentnea Creek watersheds of the Neuse River basin. Two unoccupied critical habitat units in the Eno and Trent Rivers were deemed essential for the conservation of the species, and they will be important to restoring the species’ redundancy and representation in its historical range.
Recovery planning is underway and began with a Recovery Outline released in November 2021. This document includes an interim recovery strategy and an action plan that is intended to help guide recovery until a Recovery Plan is available. It should be a useful reference for research and management activities or grants in support of recovery. We anticipate having a draft Recovery Plan available in January 2023, which will include recovery criteria, recovery actions, and time and cost estimates to complete recovery. Along with the Recovery Plan, we will work with conservation partners (you!) to develop a comprehensive Recovery Implementation Strategy for the actions needed to support recovery.
The Recovery Outline also includes several recent or ongoing conservation actions to ensure our partners are aware of these efforts. Many of you are, and have been, actively working to support the Carolina Madtom in a multitude of ways! One exciting story to share is the first release of Carolina Madtoms reared in captivity! Experts in rare fish propagation at Conservation Fisheries, Inc. (CFI) have been working closely with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and the USFWS to collect and propagate Carolina Madtoms since 2018. They had a successful 2021 season, producing about 400 young fish. With a village of biologists from CFI and the NCWRC’s Aquatic Wildlife Diversity team, we released about half of them into the upper Tar River basin; the rest have been growing all winter and should be ready for wild waters soon! Read more details about the “Orange Cohort,” so named for their tags, in the linked article prepared by our USFWS Public Affairs Specialist.
Neuse River Waterdog. While this aquatic salamander may fall outside the typical fauna of NCAFS, I have included it, knowing that a portion of our members works with this species. The Neuse River Waterdog was listed as threatened on June 9, 2021 (86 FR 30688), also effective on July 9, 2021, in the same final rule as Carolina Madtom. The rule also designated 779 river miles of critical habitat for the Neuse River Waterdog in 18 units, including seven occupied units in the Tar-Pamlico River basin, nine in the Neuse River basin, and two in the Trent River.
Recovery planning for the Neuse River Waterdog is proceeding on the same timeline as for the Carolina Madtom. A Recovery Outline was released last November, and we anticipate having a draft Recovery Plan for this species available in January 2023. Meanwhile, biologists have been hard at work and the Neuse River Waterdog has been documented in some historical locations outside the designated critical habitat, including one animal found by NCAFS members and environmental consultants in Crabtree Creek! North Carolina State University PhD student Eric Teitsworth just wrapped up his fourth sampling season, in which he has updated several historical locations with current records.
Atlantic Pigtoe. The final rule listing the Atlantic Pigtoe as threatened was published in the Federal Register on Nov 16, 2021, and effective on Dec 16, 2021 (86 FR 64000). This rule also designated 563 river miles of critical habitat in 17 units throughout seven river basins in Virginia and North Carolina. Approximately 450 river miles of this species’ designated critical habitat (~80%) is in North Carolina waters including three units in the Roanoke River basin, four in the Tar-Pamlico, two in the Neuse, two in the Cape Fear, and one unit in the Yadkin-Pee Dee. The Dan River and Aarons Creek units in the Roanoke basin also extend into Virginia waters.
A Recovery Outline for Atlantic Pigtoe was released in February 2022. It highlights several ongoing conservation actions being conducted by many of you and other partners in the species’ range (e.g., propagation, genetic studies, survey and monitoring efforts), along with the interim recovery strategy and an action plan outlining important focal topics to support recovery. We anticipate having a draft Recovery Plan available for this species by June 2023.
Yellow Lance. The final rule designating 319 miles of critical habitat for the federally threatened Yellow Lance was published in the federal register on April 8, 2021 (86 FR 18189) and became effective on May 10, 2021. Designated critical habitat for this species spans 11 river basins in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. North Carolina’s portion includes 193 river miles (61% of the total) across three units in the Tar-Pamlico River basin (Tar River, Sandy/Swift Creek, and Fishing Creek subbasin) and two units in the Neuse River basin (Swift Creek and Little River).
A Recovery Outline was released in May 2018 shortly after the Yellow Lance was listed as threatened. Recovery planning was delayed from this initial timeline due to staffing changes at the local and regional levels, but we anticipate having a draft Recovery Plan and a Recovery Implementation Strategy available in fall 2022.
While each of these species has particular ecological needs, they share several common stressors (e.g., habitat and water quality degradation, instream barriers, and invasive species). Thus, their Recovery Outline Action Plans include common themes such as land protection and habitat restoration, propagation, and improving our knowledge of the species and their response to pervasive threats. Each of the links on the common names above lead to the Species Profile page on the USFWS Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS), where you can find the Federal Register documents with final listing and critical habitat rules, critical habitat shapefiles available for download, Recovery Outlines, other federal actions, and future documents (e.g., draft and final Recovery Plans). Or you may contact me and I can share these resources directly ([email protected]). Please share relevant species updates with me – field notes, new records, research updates, concerns, big ideas, etc. – as we look forward toward recovery. Your contributions and expertise are the backbone of recovery planning and implementation!
Photo credits: Atlantic Pigtoe, NCWRC; Yellow Lance, Sarah McRae/USFWS; Carolina Madtom and Neuse River Waterdog, Jennifer Archambault/USFWS.
Submitted by Jennifer Archambault
NCFishes.com Team Updates
Newest Team Member
Gabriela M. Hogue, Collections Manager of Fishes at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, has recently joined the Team. Gabriela curates a collection of over 1.4 million research specimens of fishes. The holdings of the collection can be searched here: collections.naturalsciences.org. Her research interests include the diversity and distribution of fresh and saltwater species and facilitating global accessibility to the treasure trove of data held within natural history museums.
Is North Carolina Too Far South for Sticklebacks? – https://ncfishes.com/is-north-carolina-too-far-south-for-sticklebacks/
North Carolina’s Imperiled Fish Fauna – A Photographic Essay – https://ncfishes.com/north-carolinas-imperiled-fish-fauna-a-photographic-essay/
Herigan, G.M., D.P. Crane, M.C. Scott, F.C. Rohde, and D.W. Smith. 2021. Comparison of two fish sampling techniques for low-conductivity, lowland headwater streams. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 41(6): 1781-1788.
Tracy, B. H., S. A. Smith, J. L. Bissette, and F. C. Rohde. 2022. Just below the surface: Topminnow (Family Fundulidae) diversity in North Carolina. American Currents 47(1): 19-26,28.
Recent Field Work
In early November 2021, Jesse Bissette, Scott Smith, and Fritz Rohde traveled to Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery, southwest of Charleston, SC, to photograph Atlantic Sturgeon. All handling and photographing the fishes were done under the authority of NMFS ESA Permit 21198.
Fritz spent two days at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in December 2021 to photograph specimens of vouchered material close-up. Among the fishes photographed by Fritz were the dorsal views of the heads of Carolina Darter, Etheostoma collis, and Swamp Darter, E. fusiforme and the molariform pharyngeal teeth of Robust Redhorse, Moxostoma robustum.
Three days after Christmas, Fritz, Scott Smith, and Bryn Tracy traveled to and collected and photographed fish from several tributaries in the Sand Hills region of the Lumber River basin and from the Lynches River in South Carolina.
Species photographed included Greenfin Shiner Cyprinella chloristia, “Thinlip” Chub Cyprinella sp., Highfin Shiner Notropis altipinnis, Dusky Shiner N. cummingsae, Swallowtail Shiner N. procne, Lake Chubsucker Erimyzon sucetta, gill rakers in three species of Lepomis, Spotted Sunfish Lepomis punctatus, Pinewoods Darter Etheostoma mariae, and many others.
In mid-March, Jesse, Scott, and Bryn assisted South Carolina Department of Natural Resources fishery staff – Dani Carty, Jeremy Grigsby, Emily Klimczak, Corbett Norwood, Bill Post, Greg Sorg, and Ellen Waldrop – in the gill netting of sturgeon in the race way below the Pinoplois Lock and Dam on the Cooper River nears Moncks Corner, SC. All sturgeon were measured (fork length, total length, and girth), weighed, PIT-tag scanned, surgically implanted with transmitters (when appropriate), fin clipped for future genetic analyses (if not done previously), photographed, and released back into the river.
All sturgeon, except one, were Shortnose Sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum. Unexpected, at this time of the year, was a ~ 52-pound Atlantic Sturgeon, A. oxyrinchus, which also netted and released. All sturgeon were caught, processed, and photographed under the authority of NMFS Permit No. 20528-03.
Discovery of the American Brook Lamprey in the Roanoke River Basin
Not wanting to steal any of the thunder away from Michael Fisk who will be writing more about this subject, but an unknown population(s) of American Brook Lamprey, Lethenteron appendix, was discovered by Michael, Fritz, and Bryn in early March 2022 in two tributaries to Quankey Creek in Halifax County, Roanoke River basin. The only other verifiable population of this particular species of lamprey in North Carolina is found in Spring Creek in Madison County, French Broad River basin.
Submitted by Bryn Tracy and the NCFishes.com Team
Mentoring Committee Update
Hello fellow NCAFS members! We hope that your spring is going great! As the NCAFS Mentoring Committee is entering its second year, most of our mentoring moments are in sharing items in the listserve (90+ e-mails sent to 70+ listserve members) although we also offer resume reviews and meeting with students in virtual settings. With the relative waning of the pandemic, in-person and field opportunities are emerging to continue networking opportunities and connecting students with fisheries professionals that are our more familiar mentoring moments to share!
We are in coordination with AFS Hutton Program staff to develop a direct connection for NC high school students that apply for the Hutton program Our goal is to be available to provide students with insights to the fisheries career to any Hutton candidate that applies for the program. If an NC student applicant is selected, our committee will strive to be a resource for the Hutton scholar(s) and associated sponsor(s). We look forward to sharing our proposal to the chapter at the upcoming meeting on possible funding support to the Hutton program.
Please let the Mentoring Committee know if you have any upcoming technician positions or field opportunities that we can share with students that we meet at professional meetings or while field sampling. We encourage you to share your mentoring moments or any insights on the professional development of students to meet their goals within the fisheries profession.
Submitted by Kevin Dockendorf, Mentoring Committee Chair
NC State Student Fisheries Society
The Student Fisheries Society proudly continues to offer community building opportunities for students and professionals passionate about freshwater and fisheries science! Last year, the Student Fisheries Society incorporated a growing repository of video tutorials ranging from data analysis in R to field and lab methods available via the Student Fisheries Society YouTube channel.
Although it was a challenging year with Covid-19, the chapter had the chance to gather for a stream clean-up, a joint SFS and East Carolina University shark tooth hunt, as well as a social gathering at Pine Knoll Aquarium at Morehead City. These initiatives have carried onto the Spring semester, with the incorporation of the new executive committee spearheaded by Ben Maklouf and Ryan Tharp, the current co-presidents. The chapter will be hosting a Rocky Branch stream clean-up during April and will be bringing their annual raffle and auction event to the North Carolina American Fisheries Society Meeting this upcoming May.
The Chapter also celebrates the achievements of members Ryan Tharp and Matt Damiano who won the David and Ann Speaks Memorial Scholarship. Matt Damiano, a PhD student, was also awarded second place for Best Oral Presentation (Title: Spatiotemporal dynamics of Common Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) in the Western Central Atlantic) at the Tidewater Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Meeting.
Submitted by Ambar Torres Molinari
Need to log a few work hours “reviewing the literature”? Add these to the mix…
Submitted by the NCAFS Newsletter Review Team
Good Work! – Recent Publications by NCAFS Members
Belkoski, D. J., M. Drzewicki, and F. S. Scharf. 2021. Specialized feeding patterns and marine resource use by nonnative catfishes in a coastal river ecosystem revealed by dietary and stable isotopic analyses. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 13:564-582.
Benfield, S. B., T. H. Martin, M. J. LaVoie, and K. L. Kandl. 2022. Evaluation of growth and survival of three freshwater mussel species at sites targeted for population restoration in a North Carolina river. Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 9:79-88.
Hargrove, J. S., K. J. Dockendorf, K. M. Potoka, C. A. Smith, V. Alvarez, and J. D. Austin. 2022. Largemouth Bass hatchery contributions quantified via parentage-based tagging. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. https://doi.org/10.1002/nafm.10763
Joubert, C. G., and L. G. Dorsey. 2022. Changes in angler use associated with trout stocking in two North Carolina small impoundments. Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 9:73-78.
Kazyak, D. C., B. A. Lubinski, M. A. Kulp, K. C. Pregler, A. R. Whiteley, E. Hallerman, J. A. Coombs, Y. Kanno, J. M. Rash, R. P. Morgan, J. Habera, J. Henegar, T. C. Weathers, M. T. Sell, A. Rabern, D. Rankin, T. King. 2021. Population genetics of Brook Trout in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 151:127-149.
Pandolfi, G. S., J. W. Mays, and M. M. Gangloff. 2022. Riparian land-use and in-stream habitat predict the distribution of a critically endangered freshwater mussel. Hydrobiologia 849:1763-1776.
Tracy, B. H., S. A. Smith, J. L. Bissette, and F. C. Rohde. 2022. Just below the surface: topminnow (family Fundulidae) diversity in North Carolina. American Currents 47(1):19-28.
Submitted by the NCAFS Newsletter Review Team
Stories of Interest
Tribe leads coalition to remove Ela Dam
Efforts to free the Oconaluftee River
Recreational fishers upset by harvest allocations
Flounder management in NC
Stop, check, enjoy: fish consumption awareness
March educational campaign for anglers in Cape Fear region
Climate change causing fish migration
UNC researching impacts to NC commercial fisheries
Your Red Snapper might have been caught by drug runners
NOAA documents poaching problems in Texas waters
DFO shutting down herring fisheries on East Coast
Ecosystem-based management in Canadian fisheries
China seeks to expand distant-water fleets
Seeking partnerships in East Africa, Latin America, and S. Pacific
Submitted by the NCAFS Newsletter Review Team
Call to Action!
If you want to contribute, have a story idea or would like us to include something in next quarter’s newsletter, email Kyle Rachels at [email protected] or give him a call at 252-548-4938.
Also, if you want to become more involved with one of the many great NCAFS committees then please check this link for information about each one, contacts, etc., https://nc.fisheries.org/who-we-are/committees/
The American Fisheries Society Home Page offers a wealth of links to assist you in your fishy endeavors. This and archived NCAFS newsletters, along with links, chapter information, and upcoming meetings, can be found here on our own website.