Plenary Speakers

  • Dr. Allan T. Scholz, Retired Professor, Eastern Washington University

    Dr. Allan T. Scholz

    Dr. Allan T. Scholz, Retired Professor, Eastern Washington University

    received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D degrees in zoology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1976, 1977 and 1980 respectively. In 1980 he became a professor in the Biology Department at Eastern Washington University (EWU), Cheney, Washington where he taught classes in Ichthyology, Fisheries Management, Marine Biology, a three quarter Introduction to Biology series for majors, History of Biology, and The Growth of Biological Thought. He retired in 2015 but still has an active research program. He is the author of 7 books, and over 150 publica­tions and technical reports, most of them about fishes in eastern Washington. He is best known for his work on olfactory imprinting and homing in salmon. He was Arthur D. Hasler’s last graduate student and coauthored with him what is now considered a classic work on Olfactory Imprinting and Homing in Salmon published in 1983 (134 pp.). His other books include: Field Guide to the Fishes of Eastern Washington (with co-author Holly McLellan in 2009, 310 pp,), Fishes of the Columbia and Snake River Basins in Eastern Washington (with co-author Holly McLellan in 2010, 771 pp.) and a four volume set entitled The Fishes of Eastern Washington: A Natural History (Vo1 I. , II in 2012; Vol. III, IV in 2014). [All of these books are available on the EWU John F. Kennedy Library Digital Commons website for free viewing and downloading. Go to EWU home page and click on EWU libraries (near bottom of page) or type dc.ewu.edu on your web browser: 1) Click on Digital Commons and other Digital Collections (under Find Materials); 2) Click on EWU Digital Commons (Institutional Repository): 3) Click on Colleges, Departments and Programs; 4) Click on Biology (underneath College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and 5) Click on Biology Faculty Publications. Under “Submissions from 2014” all four volumes of The Fishes of Eastern Washington: A Natural History are available to be either read on-line or downloaded. Click on each volume to download in PDF format. Scroll down to Submissions from 2010 and Submissions from 2009 and click on titles to download the other books.] He is currently working on a new book Indians of the Upper Columbia River Basin and Their Salmon Fisheries: Being a treatise on historical distribution of, and aboriginal people’s utilization of, anadromous fishes in the upper Columbia River Basin above Chief Joseph/Grand Coulee dams and factors contributing to their demise; together with notes on their resident fisheries, with coauthor Ashley Bromberg, to be published in 2017. (Look for it on the EWU Digital Commons website.) His plenary address is drawn from this work.

    Indians of the Upper Columbia Basin and Their Salmon Fisheries

    The historic distribution of anadromous salmon in the Columbia River above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams included the Columbia River and parts of the Nespelem, Sanpoil, Spokane, Colville, Kettle, Pend Oreille/Salmo, and Kootenay/Slocan Rivers. Salmon runs in the Upper Columbia Basin were a central part of the culture and subsistence of the tribes that occupied the Columbia Plateau, which included the Coeur d’Alene, Colville, Kalispel, Kutenai, Lakes, Sanpoil, and Spokane tribes. Salmon were essential to the subsistence economy of these tribes, typically accounting for more than 50% of the food consumed in their annual diet. The religious and cultural significance of salmon runs is also apparent, demonstrated by elaborate ceremonies and pious management of salmon stocks. Tribes collected salmon at hundreds of documented locations along the Columbia River between Chief Joseph Dam and its headwater lakes in British Columbia, and its principle tributaries. Salmon were taken by means of spear as well as a multitude of different traps and weirs designed specifically to meet the challenges of each unique site. After the immigration of Europeans to the area, salmon populations in the Columbia Basin dropped from 8 – 16 million fish to 1 – 2 million fish returning annually. Several factors contributed to this extreme decline. The first threat came from the employment of virulent fishing operations such as gill netting, trap nets, seines and fish wheels for the canning industry; next, loss of spawning and rearing habitat caused by resource extraction (timber, mining), agricultural development and pollution; and finally, erection of dams which eventually blocked fish passage to 1,920 linear km of habitat.

  • Cleve Steward, President of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society

    Cleve Steward

    Cleve Steward, President of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society

    Cleve Steward is a scientist and conservation biologist with 35 years of experience and education in fisheries ecology and management, both as a government employee and as a private consultant. Having served as a researcher, policy advisor, and project manager for numerous state and federal agencies, tribes, and non-government organizations, Cleve has a strong theoretical and applied knowledge of freshwater ecology, fluvial processes, water and land management, public involvement, and laws and regulatory processes as they relate to fisheries and aquatic resource management in the western United States.

    Cleve is widely recognized for his contributions to his profession and his efforts to conserve water and fisheries resources. He co-wrote successful petitions to list Snake River fall Chinook salmon and Pacific smelt (eulachon) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Cleve was appointed by the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers Technical Recovery Team – a group of experts asked to assess the status of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead in southwest Washington and western Oregon, and to advise state and federal agencies on matters related to their recovery. Cleve was a longstanding member of the Lake Washington (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council, and has served on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations. He is currently President of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society and the international non-profit organization Ecologists Without Borders.

    Is Fisheries Science Under Attack?

    The simplest way to frame the issue I want to address is to ask the question, “Are you going to participate in the ‘March for Science’ on April 22nd?” I hope to shed light on and provoke a response to this question by examining the current debate regarding the roles and responsibilities of fisheries scientists and managers in today’s society. It’s no longer business as usual; no longer simply about whether or not we, as scientists, should engage in advocacy. Strong views are held on this topic. Some say that marching, and by this I mean protesting the anti-science, anti-regulatory views and actions of those who currently hold power, will give them more ammunition to belittle “so-called” scientists and natural resource managers as biased, ready to bend facts to fit their values, and ungrateful, as in “You get paid by the government, so shut up and do your job!” As one academic blogger recently put it, scientists who protest should be lumped in the “We Hate You! Give us Money, You Bastard!” category. On the flip side, there’s a deep-seated feeling that science is under siege, that not only are scientists’ livelihoods threatened, but that scientific principles, institutions, and our ability to study and manage the natural world have been eroded to the point that civilization is at risk. Between these two extremes exists a middle path, an equipoise between deliberation and action, caution and rebellion. Can we find it?

  • Eric Knudsen, Retired, USGS and Consulting Fisheries Scientist

    Eric Knudsen

    Eric Knudsen, Retired, USGS and Consulting Fisheries Scientist

    Eric Knudsen earned his Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Louisiana State University. He has 43 years’ experience in fisheries and wildlife science and management. He retired from a career with LSU, the USFWS, and USGS in 2003 and then engaged in independent fisheries consulting until just recently. Much of his career has been focused on Pacific salmonids in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Knudsen is a Past President of the Washington–British Columbia Chapter and the Western Division, American Fisheries Society. He is a Co-Founder and Past President of Ecologists Without Borders. He also currently manages the Hatchery-Wild Interactions Study part time under contract to the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova, Alaska.

    Collaborations: An Optimist’s View of the Future of Fisheries

    Through more than forty years of personal dedication to the betterment of fisheries populations and their habitats, there is no doubt that collaborations with other scientists, as well as among organizations, are absolutely critical if there is any hope of success. This talk will use case examples to focus on both the challenges and successes I have experienced via collaborations. In the realm of interpersonal collaborations, some early difficulties in working with others negatively influenced scientific outcomes. This got my attention about improving personal skills. Gradually improving awareness of how to build teams by capitalizing on each person’s varying skills and learning styles has led to much better success. Fisheries management and science is never accomplished in an institutional vacuum. We are always faced with necessary collaborations among people representing many local, state, federal, tribal, international, academic, private, and non-governmental organizations. Each of these groups is affected by its own laws, policies, funding, and institutional goals and attitudes. Looking for the win-win in the inter-organizational setting has usually proved to be effective. The basic questions are: can we first agree on common goals and objectives and, if so, what can each group contribute to the partnership or how can we work together to reach our goals? This sets the stage for success. A last type of collaboration I will address is scientific advocacy. Where and how does it fit in and how do fisheries scientists collaborate on political advocacy? At times the onslaught of forces detrimental to fisheries seems insurmountable but, by maximizing collaborations, there is still great hope for fisheries conservation and recovery and improving the human situations that depend on healthy fish populations.