President’s Message: July 2014

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 4.52.18 PMI am excited to be writing both my first and last Lateral Line President’s Message. This August I will be transferring into the role of Past President but my hope is that my involvement with AFS will not diminish. The four year commitment to the Executive Committee has been extreme. There have been moments of extreme anxiety and frustration followed by days of extreme burn out. However, this position has afforded countless benefits and opportunities. Most notable has been my involvement and networking with members of the Western Division. Traveling to Mazatlan for the 2014 meeting was amazing and provided the perfect getaway from Utah in April. The symposia held at this meeting were high quality, as always, and I particularly benefited from attending “Challenges of invasive Northern Pike in the West: threats and management options.” While this was one of the most depressing days I’ve encountered at a meeting, Northern Pike are posing a severe threat in the majority of western states, it was also one of the most informative. Many surrounding states have completed the trial and error phase of controlling Northern Pike populations and have found options that may be effective in Utah waters. Mazatlan meeting abstracts are available online at wdafs.org. Travel to Mazatlan and many other opportunities would not have been possible without my service on the Utah Chapter Executive Committee. If you have not yet served as a Utah Chapter Executive Committee member I encourage you to do so.
I am sure many of you are anxiously awaiting our working copy of the Utah Chapter Procedures Manual. The purpose of this document is to provide Chapter members, especially those serving on a committee, with guidelines and information on how our Chapter functions. A huge effort has already gone into the document, most notably in the development of a Chapter Business Plan. However, this is an extensive document and there is still a lot left to complete. Initially the plan was for a guiding document with several appendices to support information provided within. Example appendices include items such as meeting venue and catering contracts, lists of past committee members and award winners, and sample budgets. The executive committee is currently working on determining how to best handle all the supporting documents as well as finalizing procedures manual content. I can assure you once the field season slows down your Executive Committee members will pick up where we left off with the goal of completing the Procedures Manual long before our next annual meeting.
We have a need for someone to fill a position as Chapter Archivist. The Executive Committee has decided the Chapter should have two people working to preserve Chapter history. After my term as Past President is completed I have offered to continue compiling Chapter history by working with members who have already done a great deal towards this effort. However, this does not cover current Chapter activities that need to be captured. We are looking for someone who has access to decent camera equipment and is willing to photograph and document what’s going on for posterity. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact me at jackiewatson@utah.gov.
I would like to remind everyone that Utah Chapter dues can now be paid online with your Society memberships. This process makes it easier for you to maintain your membership and voting status as well as for the Chapter to get credit for your membership. Even if you don’t pay your Chapter dues through the Society please be sure to mark that you are both a Utah Chapter and Western Division member so our rebates are accurate.
Finally, if you have any ideas, suggestions, comments, questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or any Executive Committee member. This is your Chapter, make sure you are being represented well. Take care and have a great summer!

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