NANFA-L-- more on NANFA Convention

Christopher Scharpf (
Sat, 24 Jun 2006 21:05:56 -0400

A message from 2006 NANFA Conference organizer Bob Hrabik:

Dear NANFA members, friends, and colleagues,

There seems to be some concern over this year's meeting in Cape Girardeau.
I want to assure all NANFA members and guests that I have everyone's
interests in mind. Foremost, this conference will *not* be run like a
professional society meeting. The emphasis will be placed on collecting,
sharing information, and learning about the culture, history, and biology of
southeastern Missouri as it relates to all things aquatic (but especially
fish!). We have some very entertaining and diverse presentations planned
and have emphasized that we have a diverse audience so presentations made by
professional people will be-in-a level that all can enjoy.

I did ask for a "call for presentations," not to encourage professional
papers, but to hopefully get NANFA members to submit talks, especially you
folks in the aquarium and fish-raising trade. So, please submit talks along
those lines, because we could use some more. I will be posting the speakers
and presenations as we have them pretty soon, so I really need to get you
aquarium folks to the podium.

Our collecting trips will offer an experience not seen before by NANFA
members: a trip to the big river (the Mississippi) aboard a Corps of
Engineers barge; trawling demonstrations to see big river fish that I'll bet
most of you have never seen; canoe trips into an Ozarkian river where
capturing/collecting 60 fish species is very possible; and collecting deep
in a wilderness in a remnant lowland area where we just recently completed a
survey and captured 70 fish species, numerous amphibians, and many state
listed rare fishes.

And just so you know, the Cape lies within 1-hour of 90% of Missouri's fish
diversity -- that's over 200 species!

As for collecting, NANFA members will *not* be required to obtain a permit
or purchase a fishing license *if* the NANFA member stays with the group on
the three collecting trips. If a NANFA member wishes to collect outside of
the trips (on their own), they will have to purchase an appropriate Missouri
fishing license to obtain "baitfish." Under Missouri regulations, the
fishing permit allows the take of 150 non-game fish, crayfish, and shrimp
(in the aggregate). (Of course, you cannot have state-listed fish and game
fish in your possession.) If you are with me or any MDC member assisting
with NANFA, you avoid any potential problems. If with me, you will be
allowed to possess fish dead or alive for whatever you want to do with them
(but I would like to know what you found so I can keep records).

Yes, it's true: Missouri law forbids the transport of baitfish out of the
state. But that won't be a problem if you attend the convention. Before you
leave for home, give me a list of the fishes you wish to take with you (what
species and how many), and I will give you a form or letter on Missouri
Department of Conservation letterhead saying that you are allowed to possess
and transport these fishes. So in the unlikely and unfortunate event that
you have a car accident near the state line, and your minnows and darters
are scattered across the highway, and the first responders just happen to be
Conservation Agents, just whip out this piece of paper and you're good to

In short, the 2006 NANFA Convention represents a unique opportunity for
native fish enthusiasts to legally collect and take home many of Missouri's
wonderful minnows, darters and other nongame fishes.

Come on NANFA friends, let's get aboard and make this one of the best NANFA
meetings ever; invite a prospective member or friend, and especially get
students involved!

Escape to the Cape!

Bob Hrabik
Oak Ridge, MO
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