2021 Meeting






WI-AFS meeting on Vimeo

PresentationsPostersGuest SpeakersR WorkshopsBiomark tech talksMentorshipProgram at a Glance
What does inclusion in the fisheries profession look like?
Aaron J. Bunch, PhD Student, Clemson University, Department of Forestry and Environmental
Abstract:  As agencies and academic institutions take important steps towards building a diverse workforce, it is paramount to also have a strong focus on inclusion.  Being inclusive is an active pursuit to ensure others feel safe, engaged, respected, and valued.  Not only is inclusion inherently important but it will improve employee retention.  However, workplace aside, as a fisheries biologist, manager, and researcher, you can practice becoming more inclusive of the underrepresented constituents you serve.  This means working and finding ways to communicate with people that are not like you, researching the needs and desires of minoritized communities, and placing attention on all fisheries user groups.  Building bridges and improving relationships with all constituents will aid in building a stronger angling community moving forward, which will ultimately help all involved.  This presentation will disentangle the meanings of diversity and inclusion and will provide many resources to aid you in your journey.
Presenter background:  After working for various agencies (Arizona, North Carolina, and Virginia) for the last 12 years, Aaron now finds himself back in academia pursuing his PhD.  His fisheries experiences are broad including studies on movement, population dynamics, trophic interactions, genetics, fish-habitat associations, aquaculture, and fish passage.  He has worked across varied habitats including tidal and regulated rivers, large estuaries, reservoirs, natural lakes, and streams.  He has been actively involved with AFS at multiple levels recently assisting in the planning and execution of the AFS Virtual Annual Meeting and was lead in facilitating the AFS spring virtual conference for cancelled talks due to COVID-19.  Aaron is a passionate supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as creator and co-host of the Fisheries Diversity and Inclusion Podcast and serves on the AFS DEI Standing Committee. PhD Student, Clemson University, Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation; ajbunch@clemson.edu
Hard times ahead for Wisconsin trout streams?
John Lyons, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Abstract:  At the moment, Wisconsin trout streams as a whole are doing better than anytime in the last 100 years. But, unfortunately, this moment is not likely to last because of ongoing global warming. A joint federal, state, and university study of the Great Lakes Region, with substantial involvement from Wisconsin DNR and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has projected that over the next 30-40 years, if nothing changes in terms of land-use and stream management, suitable stream habitat will decline 66% for brook trout and 32% for brown trout in Wisconsin because of a warming climate. Some of these declines may be prevented through protection and enhancement of groundwater inputs to streams and promotion of increased stream shading, but even with substantial management efforts, major trout stream losses seem almost inevitable. And if concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are not ultimately controlled, the climate will continue to warm beyond mid-century projections, and stream trout persistence anywhere in the state will eventually become precarious. Trout stream losses will likely not be gradual but rather will be abrupt and triggered by droughts and heat waves, expected to become more extreme under a changing climate. The last decade has been the wettest since record-keeping began, and high precipitation has increased groundwater and offset warming temperature trends and kept trout streams in good shape (and perhaps lulled us into a false sense of security). However, the inevitable future drought will put many streams at risk, and trout stream management should focus on building resilience to warmer and drier conditions.
Presenter Background: I’m a lifelong fish nerd, interested in anything and everything connected to fish, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a career working in fish biology and conservation and fisheries research and management. I am currently the Curator of Fishes at the University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum in Madison, where I have been involved with the fish collection since the early 1980’s. My research at the UWZM focuses on the fishes of Wisconsin and the freshwater fishes of Mexico. I spent nearly 33 years as a Fisheries Research Scientist and Supervisor for the Wisconsin DNR until my retirement in 2017, working statewide on many different topics, species, and habitats. I received my PhD and MS in Zoology with a fish emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my BS in Biology from Union College in New York State, where I was born and lived until coming to Wisconsin for graduate school in 1979. In my spare time I like to fish recreationally, observe fish underwater, keep and breed fish in aquaria, and cook and eat fish. I also enjoy canoeing, bird watching, travel, and reading.
Sizing up angler preference for walleye size limits
Robert Holsman, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Co-author(s): Max Wolter, Lawrence Eslinger, Joseph Hennessy
Abstract:  Regulations that specify allowable size of harvest are an important fisheries management tool especially for highly sought species like walleyes (Sander vitreus). In recent years the most common size regulation for walleyes in Wisconsin has been a 15-inch minimum size limit. Throughout the state, numerous variations to this standard have been implemented to maintain sustainable harvest opportunities in fisheries with unique circumstances including lakes in the Ceded territory, the Wisconsin River and its associated flowages, and the Lake Winnebago system. As the Department of Natural Resources revises its walleye management plan in 2021, we surveyed resident and nonresident anglers by mail and online to ascertain their preferences for walleye size limits in conjunction with their self-reported behavioral intentions to harvest walleyes of different sizes. Survey respondents indicated that catching keeper sized walleyes was the most important determinant of a successful trip, far outpacing those who wanted lots of action or those interested in trophy fish. Despite the interest in keeper sized fish, a plurality of anglers reported releasing more walleyes than they harvested among legal sized fish they caught. The results of this study generally show support for heterogeneity in approaches to managing walleye geographically, including increased application of harvest slots and protected slots. Results show anglers were most likely to harvest walleyes between 15 and 18 inches while the likelihood of keeping legal fish over 18 inches declined steadily until 30 inches where likelihood of harvest increased again.
Presenter Background: Robert Holsman joined the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a social scientist in 2013. Prior to that, he was on the wildlife faculty at UW-Stevens Point for 12 years. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in the Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Holsman works across a variety of programs within DNR to understand the attitudes and behaviors of stakeholders. Besides work on walleye anglers, he is leading efforts to understand angler response to experimental panfish regulations and also replicating a statewide angler diary creel study in 2021.He lives near Lake Wisconsin with his wife Angie and teenage son Jacob. He considers himself an avid angler and hunter if measured by enthusiasm, not productivity.
Join us again this year for the R-expo! This year the workshop will take place over two days and cover basic and advanced coding in R through short, 10 – 15 minute vignettes that focus on a particular R skill or package (e.g. plotting in ggplot, length-weight regression, multivariate analysis, spatial analysis). Each day participants can tune into different Zoom breakout rooms with R experts in various fields of fisheries over the course of an hour. Sessions will be tailored to each person’s expertise so R-users of all experience levels are welcome to join.
Scheduled presentations:
  • Making better graphs – publication ready plots in ggplot – Holly Embke, UW-Madison
  • Make your computer work for you: Interactive applications and automated reports with R – Alex Latzka, WI DNR
  • Introduction to dataRetrieval and other USGS R resources – Larua DeCicco, USGS
  • arcpullr and wdnr.gis: Two new R packages for pulling spatial data into R – Paul Frater, WI DNR
  • Getting the most out of RStudio – Peter Euclide, UW-Milwaukee
  • Back to the basics – quick refresher of basic plots and stats in R – Zach Feiner, WI DNR
  • Working with stream data in R: linking fish, flows, temperature, habitat, and watershed info – Bryan Maitland, WI DNR
These sessions will be discussing the latest and greatest technology in marking fish?  Join us for updates from the BioMark Technical Support Team on the topics of Choosing the Right Antenna System and Data Collection & Analysis.
Monday, Feb 8, 9:00 – 10:00 AM
Choosing the Right Antenna System
Presented by Gabe Derrick, Project Sales Manager, Biomark
Wednesday, Feb 10, 9:00 – 10:00 AM
Data Collection & Analysis Solutions
Presented by Dr. Sarah Hoffmann, Scientist, Biomark and Matt Brower, National Sales Manager, Biomark

Student-Professional Breakout Session
We invite you to join us at the 2021 virtual Wisconsin AFS meeting, Student-Professional Breakout Session. This workshop is scheduled to take place on Wednesday February 10th, from 2:50 – 3:35 pm. We will have concurrent sessions available including a chance to participate in one-on-one resume review with a professional or you can move between small group breakout rooms that will have professionals from different career types available for discussion and question-and-answer. If you’ve ever wondered how fishery position types differ among agencies or if you want some tips about applying for a graduate position, Wisconsin AFS professionals are here to help. If you would like to participate, please register as soon as possible. The student affairs committee will be in contact with registered students to provide general information about this activity as well as directions for resume review for interested students.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Stephanie Shaw, stephanie.shaw@wisconsin.gov.