WABC-AFS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2017

Symposia List

We have organized several exciting and informative symposia for our meeting this year and we encourage you to submit your abstracts associated with any one of our session topics. See symposia list and descriptions below:

Advancements in environmental DNA
Chair: Scott Blankenship, Cramer Fish Sciences
Description: Recent advancements in environmental DNA sampling have stimulated an increased use for monitoring species presence/absence and distributions in aquatic systems. This session will provide several case studies that illustrate this growing field of research.

Advancements in fisheries technology
Chairs: Gabriel Brooks and Gordon Axel, NOAA Fisheries
Description: Studies require the ability to identify and monitor fish in different habitats, from small streams to deep fast-flowing rivers, to large lakes and estuaries. A common challenge faced by fisheries managers is the need to monitor movements of free-swimming individual fish without repeated capture and handling. This symposium will address new technological advancements which will ideally allow researchers to collect better, less biased information to make management decisions.

Knowledge Mobilization: More than just bridging the gap between knowledge producers and users
Chair: Brittany Jenewein, American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists (BC District)
Description: It is becoming well accepted that good science should be the foundation for many policies, but the challenge is often getting that information from knowledge producers (e.g. scientists, fishers) into the hands of the knowledge users (e.g. fisheries managers, policy advocates). More than just “bridging the gap”, the purpose of this process is to improve outcomes by connecting research and expertise to policy and practice. This symposium explores different facets of Knowledge Mobilization, inviting speakers to share case studies on its use in fisheries management (successes and lessons learned), effective communication strategies for knowledge producers and/or users, incorporating fisher and indigenous traditional knowledge into research and management, and the importance of community engagement.

Depressed fish stocks: Collaborative recovery
Chair: Judy Neibauer, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Description: Recovery and conservation plans are collaborative tools that can provide the structure to facilitate implementation of recovery actions for depressed and ESA listed fish. Local monitoring and assessments are important to understand the baseline conditions of threats to facilitate actions. Collaboration in compiling, assessing, and implementing actions becomes necessary as biological and monetary resources change. Improved baseline documentation for decisions and planning efficiencies are anticipated through these collaborative efforts.

Magnitudes and mechanisms of salmon and steelhead straying: Implications for management targets of hatchery straying
Chair: Todd N. Pearsons, Grant County Public Utility District
Description: Overly simplistic views of salmon and steelhead straying have the potential to result in unreasonable management expectations that ultimately result in failure. A standard of less than 5% straying (i.e., defined as the proportion of hatchery origin adults that fail to return to the location of their release) is often used by resource managers as a target for hatchery programs. However, this simple standard may not be realistic because 1) some populations of fish that spawn in nature exceed this standard despite natural imprinting, and 2) multiple factors influence straying and these factors can differ in different locations and may be unrelated to hatchery imprinting. In short, homing is much more complicated than was originally thought and management standards should incorporate this complexity. This symposium explores the magnitude of straying and factors that influence straying. Some of the factors that influence straying will be explored and include: origin, species, habitat, acclimation, spawner density, basin dendricity, spatial scale, and geography.Furthermore, it wrestles with the appropriateness of setting a single management target that may be unrealistically low in some cases.

Transboundary Collaborations
Chair: Erin Rechisky, Kintama Research
Description: Unlike humans that adhere to political boundaries, fish follow natural boundaries. To study highly migratory fish species that transcend geopolitical boundaries, scientists must also transcend boundaries by forming collaborations with neighboring regions, states or countries. This symposium will highlight several projects which range in scale from regional to multi-national collaborations working toward a common goal of conserving and managing fishery resources by improving or providing data on freshwater and marine fish ecology and migrations.

Studies of Aquatic Habitats
Chair: Gabriel Temple, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Description: Our session on aquatic habitat studies provides a venue for researchers focused on habitat related research and improvement projects to showcase their work.  Talks with a habitat focus are welcome in this session.

Anadromous Fish Passage and Reintroduction into the Upper Columbia
Chair: Laura Robinson, Northwest Power and Conservation Council
Description: In its 2014 Fish and Wildlife Program, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council included measures to explore the potential of reintroducing salmon and steelhead into the blocked US waters of the Upper Columbia above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams. Since then, regional collaboration and focused work has resulted in various assessments and research to advance this work. In this symposium, presenters from both the US and Canada will provide their various perspectives, insights, and latest research, and discuss possible next steps.

Contributed Papers

Poster Session