Summer 2018 Newsletter

Download the .pdf edition:


President’s Message

For me, this spring and early summer was quite reminiscent of the 2013 field season, which was delayed considerably by weekly storms and associated turbid waters. In such years, we find ourselves incessantly monitoring weather forecasts and streamflow gauges with the hope that maybe, just maybe conditions will be favorable for fieldwork. Unfortunately, weather delayed field seasons often fill your schedule with numerous cancellations, unwanted pressure to meet deadlines, and an unusually strong sense of urgency.

Undoubtedly, delayed field seasons are less than desirable, but I find that it provides our membership with a great opportunity to discuss safety concerns and potential corrective actions. The stress of delayed work and looming deadlines can lure us into a dangerous cycle of working in less than ideal conditions (e.g., high flows or extreme heat) and pushing ourselves into the realm of mental and physical fatigue. Thus, I strongly urge everyone to double check safety equipment and remain vigilant while on the water or in the lab this year!

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to remind our membership of the upcoming 148th AFS Annual Meeting! The meeting will be held on August 19th – 23rd in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The meeting will include diverse technical sessions, quality continuing education courses (e.g., GIS for Fisheries Scientists, Bayesian Methods, Age Validation of Finfish and Shellfish, and others!) and a “Spawning Run and Carcass Crawl 5k”.

Stay safe and hydrated!

Submitted by Tyler Black, NCAFS President

NCAFS Treasurer’s Report as of 6/22/2018

1. NCAFS checking – $5,792.75;
2. NCAFS PayPal – $342.42;
3. NCAFS Edward Jones General Fund –$49,663.08;
4. NCAFS Edward Jones Ichthus Fund or Student Fund – $31,056.43;
5. Robust Redhorse Conservation Committee – $8,835.96;

NCAFS donated $1000 to Friends of State Parks to assist with the annual Jordan Lake Family Fishing Fiesta where attendees participated in a variety of outdoor learning events, including a station where many kids fished for the first time ever! NCAFS also donated $700 to the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina for the Kids in Nature event where kids learned about hatchery production at the Table Rock Hatchery and how to fish through a fishing demonstration by NCWRC staff. Finally, as we forgot to mention this at our annual meeting, we would like to congratulate Jessica Davis for winning the annual drawing for a free AFS membership this year! All members who have paid their dues and vote in the elections are entered to win an AFS membership, so don’t forget to vote this year!


Submitted by Kelsey Lincoln, NCAFS Secretary/Treasurer

 Save the Date – NCAFS 2019 Annual Meeting!

When: February 19-21, 2019
Where: Winston-Salem
Meeting Site: The Historic Brookstown Inn

Submitted by Jake Rash, NCAFS President Elect

NC State University Student Fisheries Society Summer Update

President Riley Gallagher (in stream) and Treasurer Amber Lamb (on shore) working as part of the crew during our biannual Adopt-A-Stream clean-up of Rocky Branch Creek.

The NCSU sub-unit wrapped up the spring semester with several productive outreach and service activities. In mid-April, we led a stream-cleanup project at Rocky Branch, the stream that runs through the center of NC State’s campus. We walk the stream each spring and fall, picking up trash and debris to satisfy our commitment to the City of Raleigh Adopt-A-Stream volunteer program. Some of the ‘field treasures’ we found probably won’t surprise members that regularly work in wadeable streams! Some interesting items included a pacifier, a comforter, and a few pair-less shoes. We were fortunate to have NC State’s Goodnight Scholars join us this time around; they assisted us as part of the Service Raleigh Annual Outreach Event. Nearly 20 students helped with this clean up! Overall the event was a huge success and we look forward to its return in Fall 2018.

On April 21, we volunteered at the Family Fishing Fiesta at Jordan Lake. This annual event, put on by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. State Parks, is free to the public, is a bilingual experience, and offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family. Visitors can learn how to cast and fish, play games, see birds of prey up close, and go canoeing. Best of all, no fishing license is required to participate in the fun activities – it’s completely free! While this event is fun for the entire family, it’s especially great for parents with young children who have an interest in nature or fishing, as there are several games specifically targeted toward younger audiences. Booths hosted by the NCSU SFS included: Backyard Bass, Spot the Bluegill, Learn about Lures, and Learn to Fillet a Fish.

Several members volunteered to staff event stations at the Family Fishing Fiesta event hosted by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and NC State Parks. Clockwise from top left: Bobby Cope and April Lamb show kids and parents how to cast a fishing pole with the Backyard Bass game; Austin Mueller and Riley Gallagher engaged with visitors at the Spot the Bluegill and Learn about Lures stations; Mike Walter talks with a family about the use of electrofishing gear in fisheries conservation and management; Stephen Parker draws a crowd during the Learn to Fillet a Fish station.

Stephen Parker discusses internal anatomy during a fish dissection exercise as part of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Shad in the Classroom program.

From April to May, our subunit took on multiple leadership and teaching roles during the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ event series, Shad in the Classroom. This event introduces elementary, middle, and high school students to the ecology, anatomy, and conservation science of fish and invertebrates through lectures and hands-on specimen dissections. This year, members from our subunit led 41 class lessons at 14 schools and reached about 1,035 students across North Carolina. This is our biggest outreach event each year and is always a rewarding experience to engage with K-12 groups.

Jennifer Archambault explains to 3rd and 4th graders how to differentiate between mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies during a macroinvertebrate class lesson as part of the Shad in the Classroom program.

To round out the academic year, we led an electrofishing demonstration at SanLee Park in Sanford for Dragonfly Pond Works (of Apex, NC) as part of a Lee County Cooperative Extension program on pond management. We also participated in AFS Policy concerns and signed on to an organizational letter for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, while encouraging members to take individual action. We wrapped up with an End-of-Semester fish fry to relax and unwind after a semester full of hard work.

After a summer filled with fisheries research, several members will attend the AFS meeting in Atlantic City. Our subunit was invited to present in a special session entitled, “Engaging the Next Generation of Fisheries Scientists: Strategies for Student Subunits of AFS”, where our talk will highlight NCSU SFS strategies for building and maintaining a successful subunit.

Submitted by Jennifer Archambault, NCSU SFS Secretary

2018 Nominations for the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards

The nomination period for the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards is open through July 5, 2018. These awards are presented each year at a gala banquet. Award recipients receive a handsome statuette and certificate.

To make a nomination, complete the Online Nomination Form or Download the Nomination Form.

Each year, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation presents the prestigious Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards to honor individuals, associations, businesses and others who have exhibited an unwavering commitment to conservation in North Carolina. By recognizing, publicizing and highlighting these conservation leaders – from professionals and volunteers to young conservationists and lifelong conservation heroes – the North Carolina Wildlife Federation hopes to inspire all North Carolinians to take a more active role in protecting the natural resources of our state.

NCWF first presented its conservation awards in 1958. With the approval of the Governor, the annual program was designated as the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards – the highest natural resource honors given in the state. The awards committee is comprised of qualified and dedicated conservationists who review all nominations and select the winners.

“This awards program brings together a remarkably diverse group of conservationists to highlight the ‘good news’ about wildlife conservation in North Carolina,” said Awards Committee Chair, Eddie Nickens. “Our primary focus is to applaud and honor these people who work so hard for wildlife and the air, water, land, that they and all of us depend upon.”

Link to nomination form:

Submitted by Fred Harris, NC Wildlife Federation 

Toto, I Don’t Believe We Are in North Carolina Anymore

The first reported observation of one of North Carolina’s fish-themed vanity license plates so far displaced from its ancestral home range was recently documented. The vehicle and its four inhabitants were initially spotted at 40.259076° N/105.834883°W at the western entrance of Rocky Mountains National Park and thereafter, at various times, throughout the Park. In their travels, they noted that it seems, by state law, that at least every other car in Colorado must be a Subaru! Looking closely at the carrier, one observes that said travelers support Luna running sandals, the Great Smoky Mountains Association, the North American Native Fish Association, NCSU’s Fisheries Program and Krispy Kreme Run, the Outer Banks, Clay Corner’s Possum Drop, and the good ol’ Grateful Dead. And oh yeah, the license plate means Freshwater Fish, not Follow Fish as in the jam band Phish.

Highlights of this westward journey included seeing the Flint Hills of Kansas; the wide-open, semi-arid Great Plains dotted with renewable energy wind farms; one of the Beat Generation’s (Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg) favorite bars in Denver; the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge teeming with wildlife; crossing back and forth across the Continental Divide; the cold, clear, and briefly free-flowing headwaters of the Colorado River; ice-covered glacial lakes; the wind-blown alpine tundra; clear skies with rarified air and extremely low humidity; many never seen before species of wildflowers and trees; the amazing macrofauna such as Bison, Pronghorn Antelope, Wapiti (Elk), Moose, Mule Deer, Yellowbelly Marmot, Colorado Chipmunk, Blacktail Prairie Dog, Blacktail Jackrabbit, Horned Lark, Ravens, Magpie, and Clark’s Nutcracker; and on the way home being at the geographical center of the contiguous United States on US Highway 36 near Lebanon, Kansas.

Photographs of Wapiti courtesy of Patrick Shannon, Denver, CO

For previous sightings of other vanity plates, please go to our Chapter’s newsletter archives and download the June 2009, December 2012, Winter 2014, and Fall 2014 issues ( There you will learn about license plates that may carry hidden ichthyological meanings. These North Carolina scaly plates have already been stamped: NCSMFISH (Dr. Wayne Starnes), ELASSOMA (Fritz Rohde), # 1 P REX (Dave Coughlan), and MONACHA (Dr. Bill McLarney); and SALMO T (Dr. Bob Jenkins) in Virginia. Analogous to vouchering your specimens for your research projects, as you travel across the Old North State and our country, keep a sharp eye out so you too can add to your life-list of fish-themed license plates.

Submitted by Bryn H. Tracy

NC Wildlife Resources Commission Wildlife Diversity Program Quarterly Reports

Roanoke Logperch, Dan River

The link below provides information on NCWRC’s quarterly wildlife diversity reports, which contain updates on a wide variety of nongame research projects and survey results. This issue contains information on the Brook Floater and Carolina Pygmy Sunfish, as well as updates from recent surveys on the Rocky, Pigeon, Cheoah, and Dan Rivers.

SDAFS Elections

Don’t miss a chance to cast your vote for fellow chapter member Jessica Baumann, up for SDAFS Secretary-Treasurer! Biographies of all candidates are included in the SDAFS Summer 2018 Newsletter. Voting closes August 1, 2018 at 11:59 pm, and you must have paid your 2018 AFS Society dues to be eligible to vote.

Other AFS News of Interest



2018 Family Fishing Fiesta Update – Thank You NCAFS!!

For the third year in a row, NCAFS donated $1000 towards the Family Fishing Fiesta – a free Family Fishing event provided in partnership with Jordan Lake State Recreational Area.

On April 21, 2018 Jordan Lake State Park hosted hundreds of families ready to fish at the Fiesta! A total of 636 people registered to participate in the Fiesta Quest challenge, and most of them visited all 16 exhibits, collecting towels and goodie bags when they finished.

This year’s Fiesta saw another dream come true. The Immersion Spanish Language Academy sent a dozen teachers who taught stations in Spanish, providing a truly bilingual event. A large part of the success of this event is due to the grant from NCAFS. Success requires that key pieces such as this grant are in place months in advance. The grant monies allow the planning team to advertise the raffle prizes (a lifetime license, rods and reels, PFDs) These key pieces must be in place before the marketing team can accurately write press releases, begin promotional material layout and initiate website work. And, most importantly, those pieces are required to successfully recruit our target audience and partners. In short, without these funds, the Fiesta planning committee would be hard-pressed to commit to many of the critical pieces of the event. Knowing we have the funds makes it possible to proceed. Thank you for this freedom and flexibility as we pull together the many pieces of the puzzle.

There are so many wonderful partners contributing to this event. The community in Pittsboro has stepped forward with resources and staff. Chatham Parks and Recreation sent tents for stations. Chatham County Sheriff’s office once again sent several staff to meet and greet the public, and they brought their boat.

Large boats and a towable camper made quite an eye-catching display! Parked in a semi-circle above the fishing area were the Wildlife Law Enforcement boat, the Chatham Sheriff’s new boat and the NCWRC District Fisheries Biologist’s electrofishing boat, with staff available answering questions. Flanking them were the 4-H Alamance Anglers handing out bait and helping folks fish. And just behind them were the Academy Sports tent camping display, and a Hammock Camping display.

Thanks to NCAFS, one lucky and thrilled winner walked away with a lifetime fishing license, and lots of kids left with new fishing poles and life jackets. As the winner of the lifetime license walked up, we announced this was a gift from NCAFS. His young children were with him so we also told him he could choose to have the license go to one of his kids, if he preferred. He started laughing. “I bought each of them a lifetime license, they have theirs! I’ve never gotten one for myself!”

Welcoming everyone, the Family Fishing Fiesta specifically provides a bilingual experience to include Latino and Hispanic families and friends. A myriad of goals are reached through this event, each of which reflects the critical partner messages for the target audience: family, health, education, safety, enjoyment and conservation.

This year we kept all 25 stations, but only 16 were on the Fiesta Quest. We also created themed areas of “Conservation Education”, “Careers”, “Boating”, “Fishing”, “Camping” and “Wildlife Watching”. The stations each shared part of the overall messaging. The list (shown below) of participating organizations shows an impressive array of community involvement and indicates the commitment through all types of organizations (federal, state and local government, non-profits, large and small businesses) to ensure inclusive programming for the public.

NC Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (Sponsor)
NC State Parks: co-sponsor
NC Wildlife Resources Commission: registration, knots, birding, camping, raffle
NC Student Fisheries Society: lure demonstration, fish identification, backyard bass
Haw River Canoe and Kayak: canoe and kayak fishing/paddling on the water
US Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Cape Fear Shiner game
US Army Corps of Engineers: History of Jordan Lake
US Coast Guard Auxiliary: PFD fittings, boater safety education, Cool Hand Luke
NC Division of Air Quality: Open and Prescribed Burning
Chatham County Sheriff: boater safety and community outreach
Immersion Spanish Language Academy: recruitment and translation
El Vinculo Hispano: translation and cultural awareness
River Guardian Foundation: make and take containers for stashing monofilament
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: snake display and education
American Wildlife Refuge: Live raptors with handlers; wildlife of the lake
Doc Ellen Jordan Lake Eagle Photography
Haw River Assembly: magnetic fishing challenge
NC Environmental Educators: suet making station
Alamance Anglers 4H: bait station, fishing help, casting
Homeschool students: first aid tent, fishing assistance, station management.

Families started at the beginning of the Quest. As they moved through the stations, they advanced in skills. They began by trying their hands at casting to catch a Backyard Bass, and identifying the real species on the back, then tying a Palomar knot with the incredibly helpful and engaging Gerald Klauss, educator with NCWRC. For those who wanted to learn about the management of our fisheries, three stations run by NCSFS covered fish identification, angling for specific species and fish fileting. Participants tried dragging a lure through the water to learn about lure types. Then Jessica Baumann and Kelsey Lincoln in the Careers area answered questions and shared information about being a fisheries biologist. In that area, they also visited the Wildlife Law Enforcement information station to learn about NCWRC’s Fishing regulations, Hunter Education classes and angling on NCWRC game lands at Jordan Lake. On their way to try out the canoes, participants tried hammock camping and learned how to search with binoculars for songbirds with the help of an NCWRC biologist.

Down on the beach participants learned about safety in and around the water. Brave and daring youth and adults attempted to pick out the most pennies from a bucket of ice water before signs of “hypothermia” set in at the very popular Cool Hand Luke station, run by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, who also offered a station about PFD fittings.  Haw River Canoe and Kayak offered canoe paddling on the water with safety and skill training.

Ready with new skills and safety knowledge, they headed to the water to bait their hook and try their hand at catching. If they were lucky, they may have spotted the State Park’s Jennifer Fenwick disguised as Jenny Fishpatrick, moving among the crowd.  At lunch, food trucks welcomed customers for another toss up competition between excellent Hispanic fare and darn good BBQ.

At 2:00 p.m. we held the drawing and everyone gathered around the NCWRC Law Enforcement boat. Thank you NCAFS for making this day another a smashing success, and for being the power behind a multi-agency initiative to successfully outreach to diverse populations. Your gift is a critical piece and your generosity makes this event possible!

Respectfully submitted by CC King, NCWRC Southern Piedmont Education Specialist

Good Work! – Recent Publications by NCAFS Members

  • Bradley, C. E., Rice, J. A., Aday, D., Hightower, J. E., Rock, J. and K. L. Lincoln. 2018. Juvenile and adult Striped Bass mortality and distribution in an unrecovered coastal population. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 38:104-119.
  • Evans, H. K., Carlson, K. B., Wisser R., Raley, M. E., Potoka, K. M., K. J. Dockendorf.  2018. Genetics and hatchery management: a parentage-based tagging approach to Blueback Herring conservation. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 9:4–13.

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 Kevin Hining [email protected] or give him a call at 336-213-9692.

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.,

NCAFS Upcoming Meetings ButtonValuable Links

The American Fisheries Society Home Page offers a wealth of links to assist you in your fishy endeavors. Information on ordering AFS books, public outreach, annual meetings, chapter links and joining the AFS can be found there.

This and archived NCAFS newsletters, along with links, chapter information, and upcoming meetings, can be found here on our own website.

Leave a Reply