We Are Not Adjacent to Nature, We Are Part of It

Fisheries are as essential to the African American/Black experience as they are to, Indigenous; Asian; European; Hispanic; Latin and other Americans. ‘We Are Not Adjacent to Nature We Are Part of It’ – will explore fisheries in the context of African American/Black experiences, worldviews, perspectives, relationships, and narratives of survival,  loving,  feeling, and seeing nature deeply.


  • Richard Schulterbrandt Gragg III, National Technical Association,[email protected]ntaonline.org
  • Ambrose Jearld Jr, NOAA, Retired and National Technical Association
  • Sheila Stiles, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Implementing the Cooperative Research Model Through the NOAA Living Marine Resources CSC

Advances in the conservation and management of the nation’s living marine resources, and protection and restoration of healthy ecosystems are dependent upon research approaches that are innovative and integrative. Core to the mission of the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) is its cooperative approach to fisheries science and management. Using a Technical Advisory Board grant program as a model, LMRCSC faculty and students support NOAA Fisheries’ mission by conducting collaborative research on various themes including, Stock assessment, Climate and ecosystems, Healthy habitats, and Safe seafood/Aquaculture. This symposium will highlight cooperative research led by LMRCSC students and faculty performed in close collaboration with NOAA partners, and highlight best practices that support NOAA’s mission in these four areas, with the goals of conserving living marine resources, habitats, ecosystems, and the human communities that depend on them.


“MacGyvering”: Innovative Problem Solving in Fisheries Science

The MacGyvers are back by popular demand! Fisheries scientists are often successful in “MacGyvering” innovative solutions to a question or problem. They do this by inventing, building, or repurposing technology or analytical tools, especially when resources or tools are limited or absent. Over time, these innovative solutions created important breakthroughs and broadened research capabilities in our field. This symposium is a platform for the tinkerers, the inventers, and the repurposers – the “MacGyvers” of fisheries science – to showcase the successes and failures of their applications and processes, their ideas for further exploration, and the results of their research after their innovative solution was utilized. We hope that presenters will spark further development, facilitate the adoption of useful tools, and inspire others to explore innovative problem solving in fisheries science. “Brace yourself – this could be fun” – Angus MacGyver.

Supported by:

  • Fisheries Information and Technology Section (FITS)


  • Paul Venturelli, Ball State University, [email protected]
  • Patrick Cooney, Smith-Root
  • Tiffany Hopper, Texas Parks and Wildlife

A Fisheries Biologist’s Guide to Using Human Dimensions Data

Natural resource agencies often collect human dimensions data, but staff may not realize how to maximize their potential and practical application in fishery management. Using a combination of traditional symposium and workshop-style sessions, this unique event will demonstrate how to identify and use these data to improve fisheries management and guide decision-making. Participants will learn specific analytical techniques through hands-on exercises and demonstrations.

This innovative symposium is interactive and attendees can participate easily throughout. Foundational topics include comparison and contrast of human dimensions data to more familiar biological data; balancing of data sources for decision-making; human dimensions data collection methods; and basic evaluation of available data and analysis options. Expanded topics from 2022 include a focus on content analysis and identifying when a question needs a more advanced human dimensions approach. The goal of this innovative symposium is to put human dimensions tools into the hands of more fisheries biologists.


  • Rebecca Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Allen Martin, FL Fish and Wildlife
  • Chelsey Crandall, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, [email protected]
  • Vic DiCenzo, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Adapting Telemetry Tools, Techniques, and Analyses for Enhanced Understanding and Management of Fishes

Advancements in electronic tagging technology (e.g., telemetry, PIT tags) have expanded the ability of fisheries scientists and managers to study the ecology of fish populations. In particular, acoustic telemetry has facilitated the monitoring of fish movements from some of the largest freshwater systems in the world, allowing for better integration of spatial ecology when estimating population dynamics and assessing responses to management efforts. New approaches and cutting-edge analyses also exist to provide new insights using these ‘big data’ sets. The aim of this session is to highlight innovative and adaptive methods and analytical approaches using acoustic telemetry. Presentations highlighting the spatial ecology of fishes are encouraged, as are presentations focused on tagging techniques, technology advancements and limitations (e.g., fine-scale positioning, sensor tags, detection ranges), interactions between fish and habitat (e.g., habitat additions, barriers, dams, etc), and emerging modeling tools. Presentations from both freshwater and marine systems are highly encouraged.

Supported by:

  • Great Lakes Fishery Commission
  • USGS
  • InnovaSea


  • Michael Weber, Iowa State University
  • Christopher Vandergoot, Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System/MSU, [email protected]

Adapting to Change in Fisheries Stock Assessment Science

State-of-the-art fisheries stock assessment models integrate diverse datasets to make predictions about fish populations and can be used to explore the responses of fish populations to alternative management actions. Increasingly, stock assessments are being challenged to represent population responses to changing environmental conditions.  Research on incorporating the range of expected population responses under global climate change has recently flourished, and a forum for fishery scientists to discuss advancements in techniques would be useful. This symposium provides a forum to summarize and discuss the challenges of assessing fish stocks in changing environments, present developments in this field, discuss challenges for future stock assessments, and consider the impact changing environmental conditions on the reliability of management advice from stock assessment models. Given this broad scope, this symposium targets a diversity of assessment specialists and fishery scientists involved with development and application of stock assessment models and simulations to inform fishery management.

Supported by:

  • Marine Fisheries Section
  • Quantitative Fisheries Center at Michigan State University


  • Christopher Cahill, Michigan State University, [email protected]
  • Kari Fenske, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Michael Wilberg, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • Samara Nehemiah, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Adaptive Management and Reform of Hatchery Programs for Fisheries Enhancement and Conservation

Hatchery programs have long been pursued for fisheries enhancement and conservation and are receiving renewed attention in the context of adaptation to global environmental change. While some hatchery programs bolster fisheries management and conservation goals, others are ineffective, damaging, or go unevaluated. Additionally, the objectives of some hatchery programs are unclear, or only articulate biological or ecological outcomes even when social objectives are also important to hatchery practitioners. Therefore, adaptive management of hatchery programs, including engagement with and toward practitioner communities, and reform of programs found to be ineffective or problematic is crucial. Rapid advances in scientific understanding and availability of powerful planning and assessment tools put such approaches within reach, but their practical implementation has proved extraordinarily challenging due to complex social, economic and governance issues. This session aims to explore challenges and opportunities for adaptive management and reform of hatchery programs from ecological, technical, social and governance angles.

Supported by:

  • University of Florida
  • Oregon State University


  • Kai Lorenzen, University of Florida, [email protected]
  • Hannah Harrison, Dalhousie University
  • Seth White, Oregon Hatchery Research Center/Oregon State University
  • Edward Camp, University Of Florida

Advancements in Arctic Grayling Fish Culture

With changes to climate, shrinking refugia, and other factors the importance of captive rearing and supplementation of Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is becoming more relevant.  Augmented management objectives for Grayling supplementation calls for advancements in rearing techniques –  including efforts to target fitness or adaptive variation in captive breeding programs, holistic approaches to conservation goals, versatile approaches to increase post-stock success, advancements in rearing techniques, supplementation successes through adaptive release strategies or improvements on monitoring, pathogen abatement/mitigation by means of novel approaches to hatchery operations, and communication to varied audiences on Grayling innovations. Grayling husbandry comes with its own set of unique idiosyncrasies from incubation to release.  This symposium aims to exemplify advancements in captive rearing of Arctic Grayling providing a wider range of knowledge on Grayling rearing.

Supported by:

  • Fish Culture Section


  • Matthew Wipf, Fish Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society; Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, [email protected]

Beaver and Trout Management in the Upper Midwest

Beavers play a complex role in the dynamics of low-gradient streams of the Upper Midwest, especially where dams alter important habitat for trout. Beaver control to maintain free-flowing conditions in select coldwater streams has been a core part of Brook Trout and Brown Trout management in many Upper Midwest streams. However, this management practice may often be misunderstood, with deeply divided opinions among both the public and managers. Studies on the influence of beaver dams on Midwestern trout streams have been limited, prompting many unanswered questions concerning the science behind control programs. But a renewed interest in beaver management among a diverse constituency has spurred new research. Here we propose to gather the latest insights from research and management addressing common beaver and trout concerns across low-gradient streams of the Upper Midwest and to challenge the perspectives coming from research on higher-gradient streams elsewhere in North America.

Supported by:

  • Wisconsin DNR-Office of Applied Science
  • USFWS-Green Bay Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office


  • Matthew Mitro, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, [email protected]
  • Emma Lundberg, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Green Bay Conservation Office

Becoming Relevant to a Changing User-base: Strategies to Manage Future Fisheries

Natural resource agencies can connect with people through the diverse ways they experience fish and nature through transformational change and using a relevancy framework. To conserve fishes into the future, managers must account for shifts in the types of resource usage and the changing demographics of resource users. In this symposium, we will share foundational knowledge of relevancy necessary to engage in these future challenges, research that broadens our understanding of the values of a changing user-base, and case studies highlighting the successes and failures of relevancy in practice. The symposium will conclude with an open, facilitated discussion between presenters and the audience with a focus on the future of conservation and relevancy and how to overcome related challenges.

Supported by:

  • Equal Opportunities Section
  • Cooperative Research with Stakeholders Section
  • International Fisheries Section


  • Samantha Betances, USFWS, [email protected]
  • Lian Guo, California Sea Grant
  • Emily Dean, Michigan State University
  • Chelsey Crandall, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Asha Ajmani, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Lee Benaka, NOAA Fisheries Service