Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
The 2003 meeting of the Southeastern Fishes Council was called to order by chairperson Mary Freeman at 4:30 p.m. on 16 April 2003. The meeting was held at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, Virginia in conjunction with the 64th annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists. Thirteen people attended the meeting, including two members of the Executive Committee (Hank Bart-Chair-Elect and Mary Freeman-Chair).
29th Annual Meeting
Southeastern Fishes Council
Minutes from the 2002 SFC meeting held in Little Rock Arkansas were distributed by Brett Albanese (acting for the notably absent, Chris Skelton) for review. A quorum of members was not in attendance, so the minutes were not read aloud or accepted. The lack of a quorum prompted a discussion about the need to carry out society business (e.g., elections or time-sensitive issues) electronically.
The treasurer's report was distributed for review. Again, the report could not be officially accepted because a quorum was not in attendance.
Hank Bart opened the floor to nominations for officers. Because few members were in attendance at the business meeting, Hank agreed to continue the nominating process and elections over the internet. Members in attendance agreed that the special meeting provision of the bylaws would permit elections and nominations to be held electronically.
Technical Advisory Committee
Bernie Kuhadja announced that he will draft an SFC resolution in opposition to a proposed Industrial Park in Florence Alabama. The proposed park would be situated within the aquifer recharge area of Key Cave and would impact the only known population of the Alabama cavefish (Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni).
Chairman Ross described efforts of Steve Walsh, Noel Burkhead, himself, and others relative to organizing a new conservation organization dedicated to fish conservation in the southeastern United States. The "Southeastern Imperiled Fishes Organization" would do more than just SFC because it would be deeply involved with outreach, advocacy, and education, and would constitute a broad coalition from NGO's, Federal and State agencies, industry, and academia. SFC would contribute much of the fish expertise to this new group.
Poor attendance at the meeting prompted a renewed discussion of which society to meet with in the future. One reason to continue meeting with ASB in alternate years is to help support the Southeastern Chapter of ASIH. However, Chairperson Bart pointed out that SFC must do what is best for SFC if it is going to remain viable as an organization. Other members pointed out that a larger proportion of SDAFS meeting attendees (vs. ASB attendees) are directly involved with the conservation and management of aquatic resources in the southeastern United States.
Bernie Kuhajda announced that CahabaFest will take place from midday Saturday 7 June to midday Sunday 8 June 2003 at a large gravel bar 400 m downstream of AL Hwy 183/14, just W of Sprott and about 6 miles NE of Marion. The purpose of CahabaFest is to see how many species of fishes can be collected in the Cahaba River from Centreville downstream to Sprott in a 24-hour period. There is a boat ramp with a parking lot on the W side of the river at the AL Hwy 183/14 bridge. Boats and canoes will be present to allow folks access to the gravel bar downstream of the bridge. Many people are planning on camping on the gravel bar and participating in nighttime sampling.
Others will stay at The Gateway Inn on the outskirts of Marion; the hotel is located 6.2 miles SW of the collecting site on AL Hwy 183. Call (334) 683-9166 or 683-2582 to reserve a room. Mention CahabaFest and you will get a single room with a King-size bed for $43.55 (tax included!) or a double with 2 double-size beds for $52.30 (tax included!). Bo checked the place out and says it's nice, with a restaurant and bar. The owner is Lucius Rayfield, dinner is available on Saturday night from 5-10, but no breakfast is available on Sunday.
It was announced that the next business meeting will be held in conjunction with the Southern Division American Fisheries Society spring meeting. The meeting is scheduled for February 26-29, 2004 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Respectfully submitted, Brett Albanese