News

The Policy Column

Rivers and Fish, Not Rivers Versus Fish

Based on a casual skim of the literature, it seems that water, and therefore fish, is often included in debate about fire suppression, interbasin transfers, drought, meteorological anomalies, industrial uses, agricultural practices, and much more. Sorry to share bad news, but there may be two more freshwater issues to concern us all—increasing salinity and shifting hydrology. Read More

Making the Case for Science

Drue Winters, AFS Policy Director. E-mail: dwinters@fisheries.org Throughout its nearly 150-year history, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) has had an interest and a role in shaping state and federal natural resource policy. However, the Society's level of engagement and the willingness of its membership to take positions on important policy issues has varied over time.... Read More

Pursuing Opportunities as an AFS Liaison

By Thomas E. Bigford, Policy Director. One of my AFS roles is as your official liaison to three groups—the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, The Coastal Society, and the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Though interesting and valuable, those liaison roles have never been defined, as underscored in 2016 when then–AFS President Ron Essig requested liaison... Read More

POLICY COLUMN: Drought, Flow, and Aquatic Resources

This column has many inspirations, including a drought discussion this past February organized by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the March 2016 White House Water Summit, my own worries about how new hydrologic patterns will affect fish, and a talk by Ellen Gilinsky, senior policy advisor in the US EPA Office of Water. Read More

POLICY COLUMN: Instream Flow

By Thomas Bigford By definition, water is a vital factor in maintaining an aquatic ecosystem, especially one with abundant fish. But that simplistic statement obscures the complicated realities of a healthy water body. Each species needs its predetermined blend of water quantity, quality, and chemistry. When aquatic systems are compromised by human intervention or natural... Read More

POLICY COLUMN: Walls, Aquatic Habitat, and Fish

If walls and fish could talk, I suspect they’d have a strained conversation. Unfortunately, neither fish nor walls were interviewed for this column, so the following is based on 40 years of my personal observations. There has been much talk in recent years about living shorelines, which trend toward using natural materials and native species... Read More

POLICY COLUMN: Climate Change and Fish

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference recently concluded in Paris, and developed countries are now charged with implementing an environmental agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a perfect setting for us to ponder how well positioned “we” might be for change that might be reflected in U.S. fish programs. With a clearer vision... Read More

Emerging and Legacy Fish Worries

I was one of perhaps 25 AFS members who attended the 23rd biennial Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) meeting in November 2015. The general theme of “Grand Challenges in Coastal and Estuarine Science: Securing Our Future” included a series of presentations on new and lingering threats to fish habitat. The conference theme was coastal... Read More

January 2016: Revisiting the Protection/Restoration Debate

This column coalesced around four actions last October. First, as a frequent partner with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the American Fisheries Society (AFS) was invited to a presentation on the agency’s river restoration efforts, land-use planning, and regional mitigation strategies in the Arctic. Second, President Obama announced plans to pursue two new... Read More