Charter & Rules of Order


Current President Grant Gilmore Thanks Past President Larry Connor for his service.The Florida Chapter is an officially recognized and chartered member of the American Fisheries Society. When necessary and appropriate we follow our defined procedures and Robert's Rules of Order.

The Chapter By-Laws and Procedures (PDF) were amended on 23 February 2005 to include a new sub-unit for students. 


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    Florida Chapter American Fisheries Society

    Section 1 - Name and Objectives

    The name of this organization shall be the Florida Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, hereinafter referred to as the Chapter.

    The objectives of the Chapter shall be those of the American Fisheries Society as set forth in Article I of the Constitution, and to encourage the exchange of information by members of the Society residing within the state of Florida.

    Section 2 - Membership

    The membership of the Chapter shall be composed of those American Fisheries Society members in good standing residing in Florida.

    Section 3 - Meetings

    The Chapter shall hold at least one meeting annually at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee. The program and presentation of papers shall be the responsibility of the Program Committee.

    Section 4 - Officers

    The officers of the Chapter shall consist of a President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and the Student Subunit President.

    Officers shall be elected at the annual meeting. The Secretary-Treasurer may hold office for a period longer than one year, but the term of the other officers shall be one year. In case of a vacated position, the Executive Committee shall appoint a qualified replacement to fill an unexpired term.

    In the event of a cancellation of an annual meeting, the officers and the members of any committees shall continue to serve until the next scheduled meeting.

    Section 5 - Duties of Officers

    The President of the Chapter shall preside at all meetings, serve as the Chairman of the Executive Committee, represent the Chapter on the Executive Committee of the Southern Division and at the American Fisheries Society meetings, and make appointments and perform other duties and functions as are authorized.

    The President-Elect shall be Chairman of the Program Committee and shall assume the duties of the President if the latter is unable to act.

    The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the official records of the Chapter, collect and be custodian of any funds collected or allotted to the Chapter. The Secretary-Treasurer shall disburse funds as authorized by the Executive Committee or the membership, and submit a record of receipts and disbursements at the annual Chapter meeting.

    Section 6 - Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee of the Chapter shall consist of the elected officers, the immediate Past President, and the President of the Student Subunit of the Florida Chapter. The Committee is authorized to act for the Chapter between meetings and to perform appropriate duties and functions.

    Section 7 - Chapter Committees

    Committees and the Chairmen of Committees, except as listed in Section 5 of these Bylaws, shall be appointed by the President.

    The terms of office for members of Chapter Committees shall end upon the discharge of the duties for which they were appointed, or at the next annual meeting of the Chapter, whichever comes first.

    Section 8 - Voting and Quorum

    Decisions at meetings of the Chapter shall be in accordance with the Constitution of the American Fisheries Society.

    A quorum at any meeting for the transaction of official business shall be 20 members.  Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws or the Constitution of the Society, meetings are conducted according to the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

    Section 9 – Registration and Dues

    The Executive Committee may assess each registrant attending an annual meeting of the Chapter a registration fee necessary to cover the costs of the meeting and Chapter activities.  Membership dues may be collected at the Chapter annual meeting.  Dues from student members of the Florida Chapter will be split 50% between the Chapter and the Student Subunit.

    Section 10 – Bylaws, Rules, and Procedures

    1.  The Bylaws are the defining document for the Chapter and take precedence over all other rules and procedures.  The Bylaws cannot be suspended and cannot be changed without prior notice to members.

    A.  The Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 majority of Active Members choosing to vote, provided that the proposed amendment(s) are circulated in writing to the membership at least 30 days prior to voting.

    B.  In accordance with the Society Constitution, an adopted amendment shall be reviewed by the Society’s Constitutional Consultant for conformity with the Constitution, Rules and Procedures of the Society.  The Constitutional Consultant presents the adopted amendment to the Society Governing Board for approval. 

    C.  Amendments take effect when the Chapter receives written notice of their approval by the Governing Board from the Executive Director.

    2.  Rules are the next highest level of documentation of Chapter operations.  They are generally established to facilitate the conduct of Unit business, and to describe duties and responsibilities of officers and committees.  They may be suspended or amended as follows.

    A.  The Rules may be suspended during an Executive Committee meeting until the next annual or special Unit meeting by a 2/3 majority of the Executive Committee.

    B.  The Rules may be suspended for the duration of a meeting by a 2/3 majority of Active Members voting at an annual or special Chapter meeting.

    C.  The Rules may be amended by a simple majority of Active Members voting at an annual or special Unit meeting.

    3.  Procedures are the lowest level of documentation of Unit operations.  They are generally established to provide continuity in the conduct of Unit business.  The Procedures may be suspended or amended by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.



    Florida Chapter American Fisheries Society

    Section 1 – Specific Officers Duties

    1.  President

    a.  Oversees all aspects of Chapter operations, especially the planning of the annual meeting by the President-elect and the Program Committee.

    b.  Presides at annual Chapter business meeting.

      1. Knows how to conduct a meeting (familiar with Robert's Rules of order).
      2. Adheres to a time schedule!
      3. Introduces all visiting AFS officers from the parent society or Southern Division and gives them an opportunity to address the membership.
      4. Installs the new President in a dignified ceremony.
      5. Presents plaque to outgoing President

    c.     Chairs the Chapter's Executive Committee, holds meetings and seeks advice as needed.

    d.       Fully informs the President-Elect of Chapter activities so that, if the need arises, that Officer can perform the duties of the President competently.

    e.     Is knowledgeable about Chapter Bylaws.

    f      Is prepared to appoint chairpersons and members of all standing and special committees at the annual Chapter meeting. Completes committee appointments within one month after annual Chapter meeting. Appointments should be done by letter to help people justify travel to meetings during the year. Forwards list of committee chairs to Southern Division.  The President should be specific in his/her charges to committee chair persons. Notifies Division secretary of committee chair persons when they are appointed. Forwards list of all committee members to next president.

    g.       Communicates regularly with committee chair persons, ensuring that they are actively pursing their responsibilities. Requires progress reports, preferably in a brief written format which may be submitted to the newsletter editor.

    h.  Acknowledges the work of committee chairmen by letter, and committee members in newsletter, at the end of the year.

    i.  Responsible for overall Chapter publicity and AFS publicity where opportunity arises.

    j.  Chief fund-raiser.

    k.  Be aware of Society safeguards concerning lobbying activities by the Chapter toprotect the Society's tax-exempt status.

    l.         Serves as a voting member of the Southern Division's Executive Committee and attends all meetings of that Committee, if possible. If unable to attend, seeks Chapter representation by another Executive Committee member to take his/her place.

    m.     Prepares reports of the Chapter's activities for presentation at the annual Division meeting, which should be attended if possible. Makes nominations for Division's Outstanding Achievement Award.

    n.       Acts as a nonvoting member of the Society Executive Committee and attends both the fall and Spring meetings, if possible. Makes nominations for AFS's Distinguished Service Award.

    2.  President-Elect

    a.  Assumes the duties of President if the current President is unable to complete the term.

    b.  Works closely with the President so that Chapter activities will continue smoothly in the next year.

    c.  Serves as Chairperson of the Program Committee to plan the annual Chapter meeting.

    d.  Selects time and place for annual meeting one year in advance. Coordinates with Southern Division to avoid conflicting dates. Develops and distributes promotional materials for the annual Chapter meeting well in advance.

    e.       Extends an invitation to Southern Division and Society Presidents, and the Executive Director to attend annual Chapter meeting at least three months before the meeting.

    f.  Runs technical sessions of annual meeting or delegates this responsibility.

    3.  Secretary-Treasurer

    a.  Prepares and distributes minutes of all Chapter and Executive Committee meetings to the Chapter Executive Committee. Sends minutes of annual Chapter meeting to the AFS Executive Director within 30 days after the annual Chapter meeting. Minutes and newsletters should also be sent to the Southern Division President.

    b.  Prepares correspondence as requested by officers of the Chapter.

    c.  Informs the Executive Director, the Division President, and AFS parent society staff of changes in officers, dates and locations of meetings, and other necessary information. Notify Executive Director within 30 days of change in officers.

    d.       Distributes copies of resolutions to the Chapter President, the Executive Director, the AFS parent society officers, the Division President, and appropriate individuals or agencies, as instructed in the resolution.

    e.       Prepares write-ups for Fisheries concerning Chapter activities and programs. These should include a meeting announcement within three months prior to and following the annual Chapter meeting.

    f. Responsible for pre-registration and registration for annual Chapter meeting and other planned activities.

    g.  Maintains membership list.

    h. Liaison to Membership and Newsletter Committees. Keeps in close contact with these people to insure membership list and mailing lists are properly maintained. Mailing list should include Chapter members, AFS members living in Florida (that are non-Chapter members), agencies, university departments, and AFS Southern Division and parent society officers.

    i.  Ascertains if a quorum (see bylaws) is present at the annual meeting for official actions and furnish ballots for election.

    j. Maintains letterhead and other supplies necessary for Chapter functions.

    k.  Orders a Past-President's plaque from the AFS administrative offices at least 8 weeks prior to the annual Chapter meeting. 00

    l. Maintains historical records of the activities, minutes, individuals, and other aspects of the Chapter, and forwards these records to the incoming Secretary-Treasurer and to the AFS headquarters, as requested.

    m.     Keeps a supply of Chapter bylaws on hand and is familiar with their content for consultation at Chapter meetings. Forwards any proposed Bylaw changes to the Executive Director for review by the AFS Constitutional Consultant prior to presentation of changes to the Society's Executive Committee for approval.

    n.  Receives, holds, and disburses funds as needed for Chapter functions as approved by AFS parent society rules and the Chapter's Executive Committee.

    p.  Maintains financial records and is responsible for the Florida Chapter bank account.

    q.  Prepares financial report(s) for Executive Committee meetings and annual Chapter meeting.

    r.        Circulates sign-up list for committees at each Chapter meeting and delivers the list to the incoming President for his committee selections.

    4.  Immediate Past-President

    Acts as advisor to Chapter executive committee and standing committees, and gives assistance when needed.

    5.  President, Student Subunit

    Acts on behalf of the Student Subunit regarding all issues related to the FL Chapter, and gives assistance when needed.           

    Section 2 -- Committees and Annual Deadlines

    Executive Committee Oversees all Chapter functions. Composed of the President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, the Immediate Past President, and the President of the Student Subunit. Special meetings should be called in addition to the following scheduled meetings when the need arises.

    Feb. (Annual meeting)

    Committee meeting prior to the annual Chapter business meeting to discuss concerns and agenda for the business meeting to be held the following day. Evaluate resolutions or position statements by the Legislative Committee.

    April (second week)

    Review progress and provide direction to all Chapter committees. Make decisions on time and place, and the topic for next year's annual Chapter meeting as proposed by the Program Committee. Assess membership needs and finalize membership directory as prepared by the Membership Committee.

    August (second week)

    Review progress and provide direction to all Chapter committees. Discuss annual Chapter meeting. Summarize information for a report to Division and AFS parent society. * Scheduled meetings should be postponed for no more than one week if time conflicts occur. This will prevent continually postponing meetings as experienced in the past.

    Nominating Committee Recommends candidates or nominees for the office of Secretary-Treasurer and President-Elect. Obtains consent from each nominee and provides them with a procedure manual so they know what they are facing. Insures that all nominees are AFS society members. Avoids selecting management level administrators in government agencies for nominees that have a "conflict of interest" with any Chapter policy of political issue. Nominates freshwater and marine candidates in alternating years. Collects and tallies ballots during election at annual business meeting. Composed of three to five members, each representing a different government agency, company or university.

    August (second week)

    Progress report to Executive Committee.

    September 1

    Nominees for office are selected and requested to make short summary of their background qualification (1-2 paragraphs).

    November 1

    Names and background summary of nominees submitted to newsletter editor.

    Feb. (Annual meeting)

    Prepared to introduce nominees, and collect and tally election ballots at the annual business meeting.

    Membership Committee Recruits new members into the Chapter and the AFS parent society, and encourages continued membership of current members. Produces annual membership booklet or roster (to be mailed with June newsletter). Develops ways to provide additional. benefits to current Chapter members. Coordinates Chapter activities with those of the Southern Division and the parent society. In addition to members, the membership booklet will be made available to government agencies, special interest groups (e.g. Wildlife Society), and other professional organizations. Membership brochures, application forms and a list of current officers and committee members should be maintained.

    April (second week)

    Draft of membership booklet made available to the Executive Committee.

    June 1

    Final membership booklet printed and mailed to all members.

    August (second week)

    Progress report to Executive Committee. Program Committee Plans all aspects of annual Chapter meeting. President Elect is the chair person.

    April (second week)

    Topic of the annual meeting is selected.

    May 1

    Short summary of topic provided to newsletter editor. "First call for papers" provided to the newsletter editor.

    August 1

    "Last call for papers" provided to the newsletter editor.

    August (second week)

    Tentative agenda and proposed list of speakers provided to Executive Committee at fall meeting.

    September 1

    Start soliciting for raffle prizes.

    November 1

    Deadline for technical paper abstracts. Invited speakers committed. Invite Division and AFS parent society Presidents and Executive Director to the annual Chapter meeting.

    November 15

    Agenda completed and sent to the newsletter editor along with any other advertising pertaining to the meeting.

    December 31

    Early registration deadline (discounted registration fee).

    January 31

    Meeting agenda and abstracts printed. Refreshments for socials purchased.

    Feb. (Annual meeting)

    Conduct annual Chapter Meeting (includes clean-up detail after socials). Find out from Chapter members where they would like next years meeting. Awards Committee Develops award criteria, selects recipient(s), and notifies Chapter members of available awards. Primarily responsible for judging the best presentation at the technical paper session of the annual Chapter meeting. Orders certificate(s) or plaque(s) for best paper presentation(s) at the annual Chapter meeting. Develops other pertinent awards as desired by the Chapter or the Committee.

    Feb. (Annual meeting)

    Judge presentations at technical paper session of the annual Chapter meeting.

    April (second week)

    Notify the Executive Committee of any newly established awards or selections for existing awards.

    August (second week)

    Notify Executive Committee of any proposed changes in judging system for best presentation at Annual meeting, Education Committee Develops educational materials and programs as desired by the Chapter. Advertises book and slide show via brochure mailings and ads in magazines (e.g. Florida Wildlife) and newsletters (e.g. Southern Division Newsletter). Takes care of book sales. Handles invoices and payments, and prepares fiscal and sales reports to the Executive Committee.

    April (second week)

    Progress report to Executive Committee.

    August (second week)

    Progress report to Executive Committee. Newsletter Committee Publishes quarterly newsletter. Comprised of the Newsletter Editor (chair person) and several "News Correspondents". News Correspondents are representatives from different agency and university offices in various geographical areas. Each correspondent provides a short fisheries article by May I and August 1 to the newsletter editor. Suggested schedule is as follows.


    Correspondent's Deadline

    EXCOM Deadline

    Newsletter Contents


    Annual Meeting Summary


    May 1

    Announce theme of next years Annual Chapter meeting. First call for papers. Committee progress reports. AFS Division-Society news. Florida fishery news (correspondents)


    August 1

    September 1

    Announce theme, time and place of annual Chapter meeting. Last call for papers. Society annual meeting news. Florida fishery news (correspondents)


    November 1

    November 1

    Annual Chapter meeting information (include map). Nominees for office (background and qualifications). Florida fisheries news (optional) Legislative Committee Develops position statements representing the Chapter's opinions regarding existing or proposed legislation that effects Florida's fisheries, aquatic resources, or the fisheries profession. The committee is composed of a chair person, and three to seven persons chosen to represent the diverse interests of the chapter. The committee works closely with Executive Committee to draft and mail position statements.

    January (first week)

    Committee chair mails copies of pertinent bills to committee members. Chair requests members to prioritize legislative issues and provide a response by January 31.

    February (prior to the Chapter's annual meeting)

    Chair person mails additional bills filed to all committee members. Chair notifies committee members of top legislative priorities chosen by the legislative committee that will represent the chapter's position statement.

    February (Annual Chapter Meeting)

    Committee will meet prior to the business meeting and decide on legislation that will be the focus of position statements for the upcoming legislative session. Chapter members will discuss these issues at the business meeting and decide whether to pursue them further.

    February (last week)

    Draft Position Statement(s) will be prepared within committee.

    March (first week)

    Draft Position Statement(s) will be forwarded to Chapter President and Executive Committee Members.

    March - May

    Committee chair person and members will stay in touch with the President to assure that position statements are mailed to appropriate legislators at the appropriate times. Legislative Liaison Attends legislative summit for environmental/conservation groups in January. Serves as technical advisor at this summit. Acts as liaison between these conservation groups, lobbyists, the Chapter's legislative committee, and the Executive Committee. The legislative liaison is a standing member of the legislative committee. This position is long-term to provide a stable contact person (i.e., Florida Chapter representative) for conservation groups, lobbyists, and legislators.




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