2000 Chapter Meeting Announcement
Continuing Education workshops at the Y2K meeting
Nominations for 2000 President-elect and Secretary/Treasurer
Presidents message
Revision to the NCAFS bylaws and constitution
Student Subunit Report
Sargassum harvest regulations report
Student room available at the 2000 Chapter Meeting
Charlotte 1999 T-shirts available

**2000 NC Chapter Annual Meeting registration form
**Email ballot for 2000 President-elect and Secretary/Treasurer
Procedural Manual
NC Chapter October 1999 Treasurer's Report
EXCOM October 1999 Meeting Minutes

We would appreciate your comments on this electronic version of the NC Chapter Newsletter.
Please send all responses to Joe Hightower (

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2000 Annual Chapter Meeting
Call for Papers

The 2000  NCAFS Chapter meeting will be  January 11-12th at Carolina Power & Light Company’s Visitors Center  near New Hill, NC.  The program will include contributed papers and continuing education workshops on fish taxonomy and electrofishing.   Mr. Fred Harris, Second Vice-President of the American Fisheries Society, will be  keynote speaker.  The registration fee is $40 ($20 for students).  Further details and a printable registration form can  be found at the NC Chapter web site at

Papers are requested on completed projects or work in progress.  Papers from students  are  encouraged.  Presenters are requested to provide name, affiliation, e-mail address, project title, and an abstract in microsoft v.7.0  via e-mail to John Crutchfield ( by December 20, 1999.  Abstracts can also be submitted on  computer diskette and mailed to John at CP&L, Harris Energy & Environmental Center,  Box 327, New Hill, NC  27562-0327.  Abstracts should be concise and in Microsoft Word.  After December 20, we may solicit additional speakers.

Accommodations:  The host motel is the Comfort Inn, on Highway 55 (1411 East Williams Street) near the U.S. Highway 1/Highway 55 interchange at Apex.  A block of double and single accommodations has been reserved for attendees at $49.95/night.  To make reservations, call (919) 387-4600 or  FAX  (919) 303-6667,  and tell the reservations clerk that you are attending the NCAFS meeting.  Reservations need to be made promptly.  Rooms will not be reserved  after December 31st.     In case of overflow,  reservations can also be made at the Ramada Inn  across the street from the Comfort Inn, by calling  (919) 362-8621.

Directions to the Harris Visitor’s Center:   Map to Harris Visitor's Center.  From Raleigh, take U.S. Highway 1 south toward Sanford.   Past the U.S. Highway 1/Highway 55 interchange at Apex for approximately 8 miles.  Take the New Hill exit and turn left onto New Hill-Holleman Road (State Road 1127).  Go 2 miles and the Visitor’s Center will be on your right.  Use the front entrance drive.   From Pittsboro, take Highway 64 east and go over Jordan Lake for approximately 4 miles.  Take Highway 751 south to New Hill.  At  New Hill crossroads, proceed  through the intersection (over railroad tracks) to New Hill and follow New Hill-Holleman Road for  3 miles to the Visitor’s Center  on your right.  From Interstate 40, take the Highway 751 exit south for approximately 18 miles and go through the Highway 751/64 intersection.  Follow Highway 751 to New Hill. The Visitor’s Center public telephone number is (919) 362-3342.

Continuing Education Courses:  Two courses will be offered at the 2000 Chapter meeting.  The course will be a short course on electrofishing principles and safety practices taught by Jeff Johnson of Smith-Root Electrofishing Company, Vancouver, WA.  The course will cover the principles of AC and DC electrofishing, anode/cathode configurations, and field strength.  Safe operation of equipment and personnel safety in the field will be discussed Tuesday morning, January 11th, from 8 am to noon in the Harris Visitor’s Center Classroom A-109 downstairs from the lobby.  The second course will be a darter and minnow taxonomy identification workshop by Dr. Wayne Starnes and his staff from the N.C. Museum of Natural Science.  This course will be offered Wednesday, January 12th from 1-5 PM in Classroom A-109.  Dr. Starnes will review the diagnostic features in identifying species found throughout the Carolinas.   Dr. Starnes will also review suckers, if there is sufficient time.  There will be hands-on sessions using dissecting scopes.  Biologists are encouraged to bring in problematic specimens. Course registration fee is $10 per student and there is a limit of 25 people per class.  A minimum of 20 registrants will be needed to teach the course and the course can be used as AFS continuing education credits.  If you have any additional questions, please contact John Crutchfield at (919) 362-3557.  Smith-Root, Inc. will also be offering an electrofishing clinic meeting at the boat maintenance and storage area located behind the Harris Visitor’s Center.  The inspection includes boat and electofisher operation.  The clinic will invite participants from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.   Smith-Root will charge a fee for the inspection.  Registration forms can be obtained from Michael Smith at Smith-Root, Inc (Telephone 360-573-0202) or John Crutchfield (919-362-3557).  Smith-Root will be sending registration forms in the mail to individuals having registered Smith-Root equipment in the region.  There will have to be 5-10 boats to ensure that this clinic is offered.

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North Carolina Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Taxonomic Workshop for Minnows and Darters of North Carolina
taught by
Dr. Wayne Starnes
Curator of Ichthyology
N.C. Museum of Natural Science

Harris Energy & Environmental Center
Wednesday, January 12, 2000
1-5 p.m.

Draft Course Outline

Course Objectives and Overview:
Taxonomy of minnows and darters common to North Carolina. Common mistakes in  identification.

 Overview of Taxonomic Classification of Cyprinidae and Etheostoma
 I.  Discussion of Taxonomic keys  for field biologists.
     Family Cyprinidae

 Diagnostic Characteristics of Cyprinella
 Diagnostic Characteristics of Notropis and Luxilus
 Diagnostic Characteristics of Hybopsis
 Diagnostic Characteristics of Exoglossum, Rhinichthys, Semotilus, Phoxinus, Clinostomus, and Phenacobius
     Family Percidae
Diagnostic Characteristics of Subgenus Etheostoma including differentiation of  Subgenus Boleosoma and Subgenus Nothonotus
Diagnostic Characteristics of Percina
II.   Laboratory (including help with  specimens brought by class attendees)
III.  Question/Answer Session with Wrap-up


Chair of the Nominations Committee, Scott Van Horn has announced the nominees for 2000 President-elect and Secretary/Treasurer of the NC Chapter.  The biographies are included below.  Ballots are available online as an interactive form ( or printed and mailed to Chad Thomas, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 200 Joanna Drive, Elizabeth City, NC 27909, Telephone: (252) 335-4961.  Please submit your ballot prior to January 1, 2000.  Ballots will also be available at the 2000 Chapter Meeting at CP&L.

President-elect nominees

Shari Bryant  is a District Fisheries Biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in Burlington.  She received her B.S. in
Biology and Earth Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania (1983) and M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University (1986).
 Shari has worked for the Wildlife Resources Commission since 1986 and has been involved in research and survey projects with largemouth bass and
crappie in piedmont reservoirs.  Shari joined AFS in 1986.  She was Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina Chapter from 1994 to 1996.  She has served on the Southern Division's Small Impoundments Committee (1990-1999) where she served as Secretary-Treasurer (1991-1996) and Chair (1996-1998).

Bob Curry has been the Fisheries Program Manager for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission since 1994.  His responsibilities include:managing the Fisheries Division budget, serves as the Commission's Sport Fish Restoration Coordinator, oversees the State's six fish hatcheries and manages the statewide research and survey program. Bob received his B.S. degree in Biology from Augusta College in 1978 and his M.S. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from the University of Tennessee in 1981.  He began his career as a Wildlife Enforcement officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  In 1984, he was hired by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission as the Assistant Fisheries Biologist in District 3.  He moved to Fayetteville in 1986 to serve as the coastal region Development Coordinator, where he was responsible for the striped bass production program at the Weldon and Fayetteville hatcheries. Bob has been a member of the American Fisheries Society since 1979.  He has been an active member of the North Carolina Chapter and chaired the Education Committee from 1995 until 1998.  He served as the state agency representative to the Southern Division's striped bass Committee.  Bob served on the AFS Arrangements Committee 1997-1999 and he was the General Chair of the 1999 AFS Annual Meeting.  Bob is a member of several AFS sections and is currently an at-large member of the 2000 AFS Nominating Committee.

Secretary/Treasurer nominees

Doug Bessler graduated from Iowa State University in 1994 with a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology, and graduated  from Tennessee Technological University in 1996 with an MS in Biology.  He was then employed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in May 1996 as  District 5 Assistant Fisheries Biologist.  He was upgraded to Biologist 1 in March 1998 and became District 8 Fisheries Biologist in September 1998. He has been a member of the American Fisheries Society and the North Carolina and Tennessee chapters since 1994. He is certified as a Fisheries Professional by the American Fisheries Society (1997) and has presented research papers at 7 AFS meetings since joining the society.

Kim Baker  got up on Monday,  went to work,  squeezed fish all week,  went home,  got up on the weekend,  went fishing,  squeezed some more fish.  Kim started this little routine after graduating from Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC with an AAS in "Fish & Wildlife Management"  in May 1974.  He then went to work at Duke Power as a Fisheries Technician on June 17th 1974 and has been at it ever since. Kim received a BS degree in Business Administration from Limestone College, SC which had absolutely nothing to do with fish squeezing.  This past year his routine was somewhat interrupted by serving as Chairman of the National AFS Raffle Committee.

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Well, we did it!  The annual AFS Meeting in Charlotte came AND is finally gone!  Over 1100 registrants enjoyed many fine technical sessions, social events, and the nicest weather ever seen in Charlotte in late August.  The Chapter has received MANY nice accolades about the meeting and you should all be proud.  Whether it meant working at registration, allocating meeting space, manning a piece of AV equipment, selling T-shirts, helping with the Raffle, directing a lost guest, pouring beer at the Welcoming Social, attending one of the many planning meetings, or some other act of assistance; you guys and gals came through.  I believe we did what our illustrious leader (Mr. Bob Curry) wanted to accomplish from the outset.  We made 'Charlotte' into a GREAT meeting that will be remembered for a long time to come!  The NC AFS Executive Committee would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to everyone.  We will have a celebratory social at our upcoming Annual meeting at CP&L.  Please plan on attending so we can all celebrate and reminisce in style!


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Chad Thomas' work on gaining tax-exempt status revealed some needed consolidation of our Procedure Manual and Constitution.  We couldn't easily do this with 'cut and paste' technology since no one had software or hardware that could 'open' our ancient Constitution.  Luckily the Constitution is only two pages in length and can be partly found in various portions of our Procedure Manual.  By incorporating the rest of the Constitution into the Procedure Manual, we can retire the Constitution and have a single, fully electronic version of the Procedure Manual.  Joe Margraf, AFS Constitutional Consultant, anticipates no problems with this plan, as long as the Chapter approves.  The consolidation was accomplished recently and we would like to make everyone aware of the changes.  The new Procedure Manual is now apart of the NCAFS Webpage.  New or revised portions of the Bylaws include Section 1 (c), Section 4 (c and d), the last sentence of Section 5 (c), Sections 7, 10, 11, and 12.  The Officers and Committees portions of the Procedure Manual have a few minor editorial changes throughout.  We would like to ask everyone to please review the Procedure Manual prior to the Annual meeting in January.  We will discuss changes and, barring any objections, vote on retiring the Constitution and accepting the Procedure Manual.

The Procedural Manual is available online at


The student subunit is about to wrap up the fall semester and have accomplished a good deal over the past several months.   Involvement at the Charlotte meeting in August was better than ever expected.  Eleven students attended  with five of them presenting papers.  Seven of the students also assisted the organizing committee by running  audio/visual equipment during the sessions and manning the conference office.  The Subunit hosted a seminar held at NC State University on 10/12/99 by Dr. Jim Reynolds and Mr. Mike Holliman (University of Alaska-Fairbanks) on electrofishing injuries to fish.  The group has also begun its sampling  of Walnut Creek on NCSU's Centennial Campus.  The dam under construction will  impound the creek to re-create  Lake Raleigh which was destroyed as a result of Hurricane Fran in 1996.  The initial sampling effort included  electroshocking, seining and minnow traps.   For the 30 m stretch of creek studied, 10 species were identified  comprised of 6 families including shiners, sunfish, darters, catfish and an eel.  Further sampling is scheduled  to occur  once each season for species composition and abundance.   The Subunit is coordinating the raffle to be held at the  NC Chapter meeting 11-12 January 2000.  Tickets will be available at the meeting registration desk. Proceeds from  the raffle will go to support subunit activities and assist with travel to scientific meetings.  Please check out the  Subunit's web page for further details on this and other activities at Please note that this is a new location for the web site.


During the past several years, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) has worked with NMFS to enhance fishery protection mandated by the most recent iteration of the Magnusen Act. The new regulations require the various councils to identify important habitat and take action to assure that this habitat is afforded protection. The SAFMC did this in two ways. First, it revisited all its existing FMPs for managed species, and determined what habitats were critical to the life history of the members of each fishery. This resulted in certain types of waters, wetlands, and upland areas being designated one of  two levels of special significance as habitat. Because of the special significance of sargassum off the Atlantic coast, the SAFMC took a second step, to declare sargassum a fishery (in fact it is a fishery of one company in Beaufort, NC), and then to address how it should be regulated. And so the sargassum FMP was born. But like the coral FMP, the purpose of the plan was to evaluate threats to the habitat and then take action. And like the coral FMP, the sargassum FMP provides a schedule for phasing out harvest.

The one harvestor in Beaufort didn’t much care for this plan and fought it tooth and nail, ably assisted by friends and colleagues in state and federal government positions. Now the final recommended FMP is up for approval or disapproval through the EIS being written by NMFS, and NMFS is seen as likely to reject the FMP. A howl has been raised by other states, by environmentalists, by fishermen, and by the SAFMC itself. Despite hundreds of letters in support of the FMP and about two opposed, NMFS is likely to reject the FMP. Why? Bill Hogarth and NMFS are under pressure from the commercial fishing industry to void the sargassum FMP. They see it as a weak link in the mandate to protect habitat of other fisheries. If sargassum can be shot down, then perhaps other special habitats designated for specific fisheries can also be voided. In addition, the friends of the sargassum harvestor have used their influence inside state and local government to shoot down the sargassum FMP.
Here are some quotes from comment letters received by the SAFMC on this issue:

“Reefkeeper International strongly supports a two-year phase out on the harvest of sargassum in the South Atlantic to protect this valuable resource upon which so many species of marine life are dependent…Recognizing the importance of sargassum, the SAFMC declared sargasum to be Essneital Fish Habitat (EFH) for snappers and groupers and coastal migratory pelagics…and the need to eventually eliminate its harvest” (Alexander Stone, Director, Reefkeeper International).

“The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources …continues to wholeheartedly support the designation by the Council of pelagic sargassum as essential fish habitat (EFH) for other species managed by the council. We also support as well the establisherment of the fishery management plan (FMP) as currently proposed to protect the integriety of this critically important habitat.” (John Miglarese, Deputy Director, Marine Resources Division).

“We support in the strongest possible terms your approval of the FMP for pelagic sargassum, as developed and approved by the SAFMC and all of its adjunct committees and advisory panels over the course of several years. We further request that you move expeditiously to develop and issue proposed rules to implement that FMP. To do less at this stage would be unconscionable, and an abrogation of the agency’s responsibility to manage the nation’s marine resources in a manner that produces optimum yield from all fisheries…NMFS has already caused an unacceptable delay in promulgation of actions to phase out and then ban sargassum harvest… This failure is unconscionable and objectionable….To raise procedural objections at this stage smacks of the worst sort of bureaucratic and political obstructionism…Should NMFS decide to rebuff both overwhelming public sentiment and the long and careful SAFMC process, we challenge you to design and then implement a full prohibition on sargassum harvest through the EFH process….We strongly object to NMFS’ attempt to guide public comment, beyond its authority through the notice process…(it) calls into question the agency’s ability to fairly and fully consider comments received on this matter…We strongly protest NMFS’ attempt to manipulate the fishery management planning process in this case…”(Doug Rader, Environmental Defense Fund).
Bill Hogarth is getting pressure from his agency, but it’s his call on whether the FMP is adopted or rejected. I’ve been involved in this process from the beginning as a member of the Habitat and Environmental Protection Advisory Panel to SAFMC.  I’ve seen the NC-DMF try to get the council to allow sargassum harvest to continue, only to cave when their role was publicized on the internet and SAFMC got stinging letters from all over the country.  The issue is both environmental and political. I urge NC-AFS to support whatever action is taken by an outraged public, the SAFMC, and the EDF if it is forced to respond to NMFS’s expected rejection of the sargassum  FMP.

-Bob Goldstein, Newsletter Editor

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The Chapter will again pay for up to three motel rooms for non-local students who would like to attend the Chapter meeting at CP&L.  We will provide lodging for students who are presenting papers or willing to run AV equipment during the meeting.  Please contact Chad Thomas or John Crutchfield if you are interested.  We need to know of your interest by Dec. 15.


Student papers will be evaluated for significance to aquaculture or fisheries, experimental design and analysis, interpretation, organization, presentation style, and visual aids.  The student judged to have the best paper will receive a plaque, a student AFS membership, and a one-year journal subscription.  Good luck to all!


We have a few extra t-shirts from the Charlotte meeting.  The EXCOM has voted to donate the proceeds from the sale of the remaining shirts to Hurricane Floyd flood relief.  Some shirts were sold at the recent SEAFWA meeting in Greensboro and over $300 raised for this very worthy cause.  We may have a few more at the Chapter meeting so bring your money and help us help a good cause.

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