Annual Meeting 2020

Utah Chapter Annual AFS Meeting 2020

Utah Chapter AFS Annual Meeting 

February 25-27, 2020 – St. George, Utah

Updates as of February, 2020


Hello Utah Fisheries Professionals:

The 2020 UTAFS Annual Meeting is right around the corner and we are ecstatic to provide another informative and enjoyable meeting. Please click here to view the 2020 Annual Meeting Program which includes information pertaining to the hotel accommodations, opening social, daily agenda, symposium details, etc.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about the meeting, please feel free to contact me or visit our chapter website. I look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting for another informational and fulfilling event!

George Weekley                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Utah Chapter President                                                                                                                                                                                        [email protected]


January 8th Updates

The Utah Chapter AFS is excited to be hosting its 42nd Annual Meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. George, UT February 25th -27th, 2020. Our plenary session the morning of February 26th is on the challenges and successes on fisheries management in the Virgin River Basin. The speakers for the plenary session include:

  • Collaborative partnerships: the key to successful conservation planning in Utah’s fastest growing and most biologically diverse county – Rick Fridell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Water rights and instream flows – James Greer, Utah Division of Water Rights
  • Perspectives of water management and fish conservation in southwest Utah – Corey Cram, Washington County Water Conservancy District
  • Overview of the Virgin River Program – Steve Meismer, Virgin River Program
  • Twenty-five years of cooperative actions implemented under the Virgin Spinedace Conservation Agreement – Rick Fridell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Lower Virgin River Management – Michael Schwemm, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southern Nevada Field Office

Our goal for this full day symposium will be to bring in folks that work on the Virgin River in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada to talk about progress and issues in fisheries management in the Virgin River system. This session will cover the challenges of managing fish species in one of the driest and fastest growing communities in the United States and will include conservation strategies that can be applied to our home waters.

Second Call for Papers – due January 31, 2020
Following our morning plenary session additional concurrent sessions will include:

  • Fish Passages, Screens, and Barriers session
  • Innovative Techniques session
  • Several Contributed Papers sessions

This meeting will serve as a great opportunity to share your recent work with a diverse group of
government representatives, non-government organizations, and academia from across the state. All papers are welcome, including scientific papers as well as informational.

Abstracts for papers are DUE January 31, 2020Click here for submission guidelines.

Oral Presentation Guidelines
Oral presentations during the general sessions will be limited to a 20 minute time slot. We recommend limiting your presentation to 15 to 18 minutes to allow for questions. If you have been asked by Utah AFS to present during the plenary session, your presentations will be limited to 30 minutes.

Poster Presentation Guidelines
Please restrict your poster to a maximum size of 36 inches high (0.92 m) x 48 inches wide (1.22 m) and have a smooth finish. Poster boards will be provided. Posters can be attached to the boards with double-sided adhesive strips or hook and loop (VELCRO®) type fasteners. If using VELCRO®, provide both sides (adhesive backing will be required). You are responsible for providing your own form of attachment.

Registration Details – Early Registration Due January 24, 2020.
Early Registration is now open through January 24, 2020!  Click here to register. Meeting registration dues cover the costs for all meals from Tuesday dinner through lunch on Thursday. Shared motel rooms are included with your registration. To help with room arrangements, please provide the name of someone you would like to room with during the registration process (and that person should provide your name on their registration). Please also include the nights you plan on staying. If you do not provide a name, you will be paired with someone. You DO NOT need to make room reservations with the hotel as the Utah AFS Executive Committee will take care of this once registration closes. If you prefer not sharing a room, you will be responsible for making your own reservation and covering the cost.
***For UDWR employees – you will only be reimbursed for early registration costs, so please plan accordingly and register early.

We have an additional registration option this year for the Virgin River Symposium. We are reaching out to folks to present in this session and many will be travelling from out of state. In addition, there will be members of the Virgin River Program that will only be attending the Virgin River Symposium and recovery team meetings. The Virgin River Program has provided a generous sponsorship to the Utah AFS Chapter to assist in hosting the Virgin River Symposium, so we are providing a registration option for those individuals only interested in this Symposium. Both of these options are free to encourage attendance, but we need folks to register for this option whether you are presenting or just attending this session.  This will allow us to better plan for this session.

2020 Utah Chapter AFS Chapter meeting costs

  • 2020 Utah Chapter Membership dues – $25*
  • Early Registration for Utah Chapter Members – $85**
  • Late Registration for Utah Chapter Members – $105**
  • Early Registration for Non-Utah Chapter Members – $135**
  • Late Registration for Non-Utah Chapter Members – $155**
  • Early Student Registration – $30**
  • Late Student Registration – $40**
  • Virgin River Symposium Presenter Registration – $0**
  • Virgin River Symposium One Day Registration – $0
  • Extra Banquet Ticket – $30

*for UDWR employees – the $25 Utah Chapter dues are not reimbursable; early Registration for Utah Chapter Members ($85) will be the maximum reimbursed for the 2020 meeting,so please plan accordingly.

**Includes continuing education, 2020 Chapter Meeting, two morning and one afternoon catered breaks, two complimentary hotel breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and two nights hotel stay.

If you are not currently a Utah Chapter member, now is a good time to become one. Membership fees help us continue to host meetings and become more progressive as a chapter. We would like to become more financially independent using membership dues to conduct business. We would also like to offer more benefits to our members like student scholarships; travel grants to National and Western Division meetings; and reduce Annual Meeting costs. Having more members associated with our chapter will help us accomplish these goals in the future. You can pay chapter membership fees on the Annual Meeting registration page or through the National AFS website (click here). Also, you can now pay your AFS Chapter Dues via Paypal and keep up to date on your membership.

If you have any questions or concerns about the meeting or becoming a chapter member, please feel free to contact me.

Continuing Education Courses
Utah AFS is offering two continuing education courses at the Annual Meeting on Tuesday February 25, 2020. Both classes are free of charge and will be held in classrooms at the Hilton Garden Inn. If you plan on attending a Continuing Education course, you will still need to sign up while registering for the annual meeting so we can plan accordingly. Space is limited in these courses, so I would suggest that you register early. We are still working out some details related to these classes, so those of you that register will be contacted with more information as the meeting date approaches. The two courses are:

1)    Title:  How to write and publish a manuscript in a scientific journal

  • Instructor:  Dr. Phaedra Budy
  • Date:  February 25, 2020
  • Time:  1-4 or 5 pm

Most of us are working on fisheries projects that can be published and should be shared within the scientific community.  If we don’t publish this work, the world will never know.  Attempting to publish in a scientific journal can be time consuming and frustrating.  Phaedra will provide tips and tricks to help make you more successful.  These will include deciding what type of scientific article fits your story/data as well as which journal would be a good option for submission.  Everything from study design, writing style, data presentation (choosing between tables or figures), and much more will be covered in this 3-4 hour class.

2)      Telling our story – working with media and developing our own media content

  • Instructors: Brett Prettyman and Phil Tuttle
  • Date:  February 25, 2020
  • Time:  1-4 pm

Brett Prettyman (Intermountain West Communications Director for Trout Unlimited) and Phil Tuttle (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Outreach Manager) will be leading a continuing education course focused on working with the media and developing our own stories. The course will include opportunities to take real-world examples and lessons and then allow course participants to practice with mock interviews and blog posts. Come prepared with your own data and story ideas. And we will provide tips on crafting a message.

Field Tour and Post-meeting Get-together
If you are not interested in either of the continuing education courses, we also have a Virgin River Fishes field tour on Tuesday February 25 from 1 to 5 PM. The tour will be led by Rick Fridell, where you will view facilities along the Virgin River and have a discussion of how those facilities contribute to native fish recovery in the Virgin River. In addition, we will also have a fun trap shoot at the Purgatory Shooting Club on Thursday, February 27 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. Come test your clay shooting skills against your fellow fisheries professionals. If you are interested in either of these options, please indicate that in your registration.

Please consider nominating your colleague’s for an award! The award nomination DEADLINE is January 24, 2020. Nominations need to be sent to Dale Fonken at [email protected]. This year’s awards include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Professional of the Year
  • Award of Merit
  • Habitat Conservationist of the Year
  • Partner of the Year
  • Leaky Boot Award

Small Project Grants
As a reminder, we are excited to announce that we are accepting applications to provide a grant up to $500.00 for deserving projects. The deadline for the grant applications are January 24, 2020.  All applications received will be voted on by the membership at the 2020 Business meeting during lunch on February 26. In addition, all projects must be completed within a year, so that the winning applicant can present the results of the project at the Utah AFS 2021 meeting. In your application, please include the following:

  • Project Title
  • Project Objectives
  • Project Description
  • General Project Timeline
  • Utah AFS Funding request: up to $500.00

The link to submit your application for the grant is:

Photo Submission
Please consider submitting your fish, wildlife, and landscape photos from the year. We would like to showcase photos from your work projects and adventures during the banquet. Photos can be submitted to Chante Lundskog at [email protected].

I look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting for another eventful and fulfilling event! If you have any questions regarding the meeting, please feel free to contact me.