Minutes of the Reservoir Committee

SDAFS Midyear Meeting

Little Rock, Arkansas

February 21, 2002

  • Meeting Convened February 21, 2002
  • Chairman Mark Oliver called the meeting to order at about 8:00 a.m. with the following present:
  • Members present:

    Mark Oliver (AR) Jeff Crosby (KY) Jeff Boxrucker (OK)
    Kevin Dockendorf (U of FL) Fred Janssen (TX) Doug Besler (NC)
    Scott Hendricks (GA Power) Mike Colvin (MO) Mike Allen (U of FL)
    Steve Sammons (Auburn) Kevin Yokum (WV) Tim Churchill (TN)
    Mike Alexander (C of E) Jeff Slipke (Auburn) Chris Horton (AR)
    Dave Coughlan (Duke Energy) Greg Summers (OK) Gene Gilliland (OK)
    Tim Bonvechio (U of FL) Vic DiCenzo (VA) Rick Ott (TX)
    David Partridge (GA) Kurt Kurlinski (OK) Mark Webb (TX)
    Fred Heitman (Am Aquatics) Brent Gordon (OK) Bill Wentroth (OK)
    Kim Tugend (U of FL) Gary Peterson (OK)  

  • Mark Oliver declared that a quorum was present and approved the minutes of the summer 2001 meeting held in Atlanta. Mike Colvin was appointed secretary for the current meeting.
  • Financial Report:
    • Reservoir Committee fund balances totaled $40,700 in January, 2002. This is down from a balance of about $49,700 from the previous year. Declines are a combination of committee expenditures and current market conditions. Mark announced that there still are sufficient funds to help members attend meetings.
  • Old Business:
    • Online Aquatic Vegetation Manual (Fred Janssen):
      • Fred and Mike Smart are working on the interactive portion of the online manual where users can input lake conditions and get a list of plants that have been known to work under their specified conditions. Input variables include substrate, water clarity, winter and summer fluctuations. The general layout of the program is complete and everyone agreed that it looked good, but there may still be problems adapting it to the database system used on the web page. Fred and Mike are still working on ways to handle outlier variable values and how to keep up with new information that is still coming in. Also still to be completed is an introductory page and possibly a detailed report that can be accessed by those who want it. Line drawings or photographs of about half of the plants on the species list also still need to be completed.
      • There was considerable discussion of how we were going to advertise both the abiotic and biotic habitat manuals to maximize their use. Suggestions included: Fisheries, letters to state fisheries chiefs, state extension programs, and the Aquatic Plant Society. Mark Oliver appointed a subcommittee to develop an advertising approach: Fred Heitman, Chris Horton, Gene Gilliland, and Mark Oliver.
    • White bass symposium (Mike Colvin):
      • The white bass symposium (11 papers plus introduction) will be in the May 2002 issue of North American Journal of Fisheries Management (NAJFM). Previously, the Reservoir Committee committed $1,000 to help offset costs of reprinting a module. Chris Guy, symposium coordinator, wants to send the module to AFS Fisheries Management Section members who do not receive NAJFM (about 360 members). In addition, the Reservoir Committee would like some extra copies that can be distributed among biologists in Southern Division states. Although a target number was not set, the consensus was that at least 140 (bringing the total to 500) could be distributed through the committee. After more discussion, a motion authorizing the Reservoir Committee chair to approve up to $2,000 for publication of the module was approved. Our committee’s contribution will be combined with one from the AFS Fisheries Management Section. Any unused funds will be distributed back to the committees. Chris will let us know how much he needs when he hears back from the AFS publications office.
    • Bob Jenkins Scholarships (Gene Gilliland):
      • Steve Sammons was approved to receive the scholarship for his his second year. Eleven applications for first-year scholarships were received. These will be reviewed and the winner will be announced at the Division business meeting on February 23.
    • Reservoir Committee Homepage (Fred Janssen):
      • Fred encouraged everyone to submit updated project summaries for their states and organizations.
  • New Business
    • Reservoir Committee Poster (Mark Oliver):
      • Steve Miranda composed the Reservoir Committee poster for the Division’s 50th anniversary celebration. It will be on display during the social Saturday night. The poster covers all of the committee’s major projects and lists all present and former members. Looks great!
    • FAST Workshop (Mark Oliver):
      • The committee is cosponsoring the FAST workshop presented by Mike Maceina and Jeff Slipke this Friday. The committee is covering the cost of electrical outlets needed for participants’ laptop computers.
    • Aquatic Plant Symposium AFS 2002 (Mark Webb):
      • The Reservoir Committee is sponsoring a symposium entitled "Vegetation as Fish Habitat" at the AFS annual meeting in Baltimore, MD this year. So far we have commitments for 21 presentations which include freshwater and estuarine. We hope some of the papers will be published as a module.
    • Catch and Release Issues (Mike Alexander):
      • The committee continued a discussion that was initiated in Atlanta by T. O. Smith of Texas concerning anglers’ attitudes and concepts of why they release fish (particularly largemouth bass). Biologists have been concerned that excessive catch and release of legal bass, particularly below slot limits, has hindered our ability to manage bass populations. T. O. has developed surveys in Texas designed to determine what anglers are thinking when they release legal bass. Once determined, biologists might be able to redirect anglers’ attitudes towards harvesting fish and improve our ability to use various regulations to improve fisheries.
      • Mike Alexander wondered if we need to document the problem better before embarking on angler surveys. Mike Allen further discussed how slot limits have not worked in many waters because anglers will not harvest bass smaller than the minimum slot size, and it’s time we try to figure out why.
      • After further discussion, the committee decided by general consensus that even though we might not know the extent of the problem, the issue of anglers’ attitudes of why they release legal fish is important to most state agencies. Hearing no opposition, Mark Oliver proclaimed that this issue should be our next major project. It was decided that we would address the issue with a two-pronged approach.
      • The first approach will be to sponsor a catch and release symposium at the next midyear meeting. Mark Oliver appointed Mike Allen and Mike Alexander to organize the symposium.
      • The second approach will be to draft a basic proposal for a multi-state survey of anglers which will determine their reasons for releasing bass. T. O. Smith has agreed to design the survey and analyze the data. Each state will be asked to provide names and addresses of 1200 anglers for the survey. States will be asked to stuff and provide postage for their portion. Mark Oliver appointed a subcommittee of T. O. Smith, Fred Janssen, Greg Summers, and Vic DiCenzo to work on this proposal. Vic agreed to present it at the Fisheries Administrators Section Meeting. If approved, outside grant funding for the project might be sought.
      • Special Note: During this discussion, Mike Alexander admitted that he was highly opinionated!
    • Tournament Data Collection and LMB Virus (Gene Gilliland):
      • Gene Gilliland presented statewide bass tournament data from Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas showing dramatic increases in the number of hours required to catch bass > 5 pounds in the past few years, all of which occurred after detection of largemouth bass virus. Jeff Slipke noted that bass growth rates have slowed in some waters since detection of the virus. Gene asked for additional tournament information. Although cause and effect has not been established, there is cause for concern. This issue will be discussed further during the LMB virus workshop on Friday.
    • Election of New Reservoir Committee Chair: Fred Janssen was elected as our new chair by acclamation and promised to fearlessly lead us for the next two years. Thanks, Fred.
    • Summer Meeting Location (Kevin Yokum): Kevin Yokum agreed to host the summer meeting at Stonewall Jackson Lake, West Virginia. He will look into reserving two dates in July.
  • After the round table discussion, the committee thanked Mark Oliver for his service with a round of applause, and the meeting was adjourned.