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FLIER NEWSLETTER Volume 1 - Number 1 May/June 1998
A Publication of the Native Fish Conservancy
Konrad Schmidt, Editor
1663 Iowa Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106
WHAT'S THIS? The FLIER newsletter is a publication of the Native
Fish Conservancy (NFC) which is a nonprofit organization dedicat
ed to the conservation, research, and education of primarily
nongame fishes native to North America. The aptly named flier
(Centrarchus macropterus) has been chosen as the title for the
NFC newsletter which will report on research studies, restoration
projects, captive propagation, environmental issues, and NFC
activities. This first issue serves as an introduction to what
NFC is all about and the organization's long term goals and
objectives. Please take a few moments to read our Mission State
ment, Frequently Asked Questions, and member benefits. If you
like what you see and want to join, please fill out the member
ship form and mail it in. Special Introductory Offer: Join the
NFC now, add $2 for postage, and select one of the following
prints by the Joe Tomelleri (a $25 value): paddlefish (Polyodon
spathula), rosefin shiner (Lythrurus ardens), redbelly dace
(Phoxinus eos or P. erythrogaster), longear sunfish (Lepomis
megalotis), and redfin darter (Etheostoma whipplei). Due to
availability, please rank your top three choices. Note: Addi
tional prints can be ordered for $10 each which includes postage.
WHAT A DEAL!
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS - The NFC will regularly acknowledge
individuals who have dedicated their lives to the study of native
fishes and made remarkable contributions in information and
conservation. For their grand efforts, NFC has awarded lifetime
memberships to the following fish fanciers: (1) George Becker -
Fishes of Wisconsin. (2) Frank Cross - Fishes in Kansas, (3)
Dave Etnier - The Fishes of Tennessee. (4) Larry Page - Handbook
of Darters and the Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes.
(5) William Pflieger - The Fishes of Missouri. This award also
includes a Joe Tomelleri print of their choice listed in the
special introductory offer. Congratulations gentlemen! We all
sincerely appreciate your tremendous achievements.
WHAT A COINCIDENCE! - William Pflieger's long awaited revised
edition of Fishes of Missouri is out and at a steal of a price.
The softcover book contains 383 pages and costs only $15 plus $5
for shipping and handling. Mail orders: NATURE SHOP, Department
of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Phone
orders: (573) 751-4115 ext. 325
NOT BRAGGING...JUST FACT - Ray Katula (Genoa, WI) very likely
holds the record for spawning native fishes in his basement
aquariums and pools. During a marathon trip in November 1997 to
Tennessee, he collected several new darters he had not tried
before. As of 1 May 1998, he has successfully spawned the fol
lowing species: sharpnose (Etheostoma acuticeps), emerald (E.
baileyi), bluebreast (E. camurum), greenfin (E. chlorobranchium),
and arrow (E. sagitta). Ray's expertise is one example of a
resource which NFC believes should be tapped to culture rare
fishes for reintroduction to historic ranges.
STORM CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON - The Flier will, on a regular basis,
write editorials on topics which may be perceived as controver
sial. There will be no exemptions afforded to any agency, pro
gram, or organization (including NFC). The ultimate objective is
to establish a forum for discussion to resolve conflicts which
could impede conservation efforts or the recreational enjoyment
of native fishes. The first point of contention will be the
NFC's fish sales program. The Flier Editor personally has no
objections to the sale of common native fishes to fund NFC
projects and grants. However, many biologists and professors
view this practice as a "clear and present danger" of more range
extensions and introductions of exotic species. They also fear
the commercial exploitation of even common fishes will result in
extirpations, and possibly, extinction of some species. I ap
plaud the NFC's thorough investigation of the laws governing
these activities to assure compliance and policy banning aquarium
releases. However, I foresee a phobia mind set in almost every
state and province in North America which will take years to
address and there is no certainty to the outcome. LET'S SAVOR
THIS LULL BEFORE THE STORM!
NFC MISSION STATEMENT
The Native Fish Conservancy (NFC) was formed to operate as a non-
partisan, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization for the advancement
of educational and scientific programs and initiatives concerning
native fishes. The NFC seeks funding from public and private
sources and will responsibly distribute those funds to special
projects that enhance public awareness, education, conservation
and research concerning native fish species. The NFC respects
owners of private property and their rights. The NFC seeks to
establish cooperative projects with landowners that preserve
property rights while supporting the implementation of greater
conservation objectives. The NFC will seek partnerships with
government and private agencies to facilitate stream restoration
and waterways cleanup. The NFC supports domestic propagation of
endangered, threatened and special concern species while comply
ing with all local, state and federal laws, rules and regula
tions. The NFC supports recreational collecting, rearing and
breeding of common native fishes. The NFC encourages involvement
from the greater public in regards to native fish and conserva
tion related issues. Membership in the NFC will be open to all
individuals concerned with the conservation, sport fishing,
aquarium study, keeping, collecting or general welfare of native
??? FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NFC ???
Robert Rice, NFC President
Q. Why are NFC membership fees so low?
A. Fees are not low because members receive little in products
or services. They are low because the entire staff is comprised
of volunteers. Furthermore, NFC's nonprofit status allows us to
receive tax deductible contributions and also save on our publi
cations costs because we qualify for greatly reduced postage
rates. Local and national conservation projects receive approxi
mately 80% of all revenue generated from membership fees, contri
butions, fund raisers, and corporate sponsorships. Finally, the
more than reasonable membership rates are an incentive for people
from all occupations and interests to join without fear of
Q. What do the membership fees provide in services?
A. NFC publications, website access, participation in regional
activities, breeder awards program, purchasing donated items at
great prices, and the satisfaction knowing many little known
native fishes are finally getting some long overdue and needed
attention and management.
Q. Is the NFC an aquarium club?
A. Aquarists are encouraged and welcomed to join, but the NFC is
not an aquarium club. To assure aquarists can continue collect
ing and keeping native fishes, aquatic habitats and water quality
must be protected and managed. This is a principal tenet of NFC,
but another issue of concern is safeguarding the privileges of
both recreational and scientific collectors. This will be accom
plished by lobbying government agencies and legislators to amend
or create new laws which currently apply solely to angling activ
Q. How and where does NFC distribute funding?
A. One half of the revenues generated will be spent on small
projects around the country. This includes regional activities,
breeding projects, and stream clean up. The remainder will be
earmarked for land purchases which clearly benefit native fishes
and their habitats. NFC will also seek out partnerships with
other agencies sharing common goals to maximize the effects of
Q. How does the NFC Breeders Club work?
A. Conservation-minded aquarists willing to join a structured
program which adheres to all to state and federal regulations are
eligible to receive equipment grants which will help fund life
history studies, develop culture techniques, and the results will
be reported in NFC publications and posted on the website.
Q. How can I help?
A. Take the time and effort to volunteer in a small or big way.
Whether you pass out fliers and applications or get involved
regionally or nationally - WE NEED YOU! Simply send a note or
resume to: Robert Rice, 2213 Prytania Circle Navarre FL 32566 or
Email at: robertrice at juno_com.
Q. What does NFC offer the novice aquarist or biologist who is
just getting started in breeding or study of native fishes?
A. The NFC WEBSITE <http://members.xoom.com/nativefishes> con
tains excellent introductory packets on information sources,
collecting gear and methods, and aquarium care and maintenance.
The website also contains several comprehensive articles on a
variety of topics.
Q. Who is eligible for NFC grants?
A. Any NFC member with a worthwhile project in mind is eligible.
A project can be as simple as setting up an educational program
at a local school or nature center. Other excellent candidates
can be an endangered species breeding program or a stream resto
Q. Are my contributions tax deductible?
A. Yes, we are a nonprofit organization in Vermont and our
501(c) status is pending with the IRS. Any contributions above
the membership dues are tax deductible. Note: Please check with
a tax consultant for details and required documentation.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE NATIVE FISH CONSERVANCY
AND THE NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE FISHES ASSOCIATION
Dwight D. Moody, NFC Secretary/Treasurer
Flier Editor's Note: This section was included because of sever
al inquiries received during the formation of the NFC. The
intent is NOT to criticize the North American Native Fishes
Association (NANFA) which is an excellent organization, but their
goals, objectives, purpose, and structure do contrast considera
bly from the NFC and this summary will hopefully clarify the
boundaries between the two organizations.
NANFA is primarily a native fish hobbyist group, with some inter
est in selected conservation efforts. The regular pilgrimages of
Peter Unmack and associates to Ash Meadows is a good example,
however, it should be noted that most, if not all, regional
activities are funded by the Regional Coordinators and/or mem
bers, and are not financially supported by the NANFA Board of
Directors (BOD). The NFC, on the other hand, will funnel signif
icant funds to grassroots projects. NFC, unlike NANFA, actively
seeks partnering opportunities to achieve common goals. The NFC
will operate as a non-partisan, nonprofit, tax-exempt organiza
tion dedicated to conservation of native fish and their habitats
on which they depend for survival.
NANFA's primary focus is on the hobbyist with a secondary focus
on conservation, primarily one day Ash Meadows type projects.
NFC, on the other hand, is more concerned with conservation
initiatives involving land or easement acquisition, ecological
research, etc., of which promotion of recreational collecting and
keeping of native fish in aquariums is only a part, albeit an
The other main difference which you might note from comparing the
foundational documents of the two organizations is that NANFA is
an organization centered on its BOD and, to a much lesser extent,
its Regional Coordinators. NFC, on the other hand, limits its
Board of Trustees to high-level policy decisions and devolves
responsibility and authority to the people doing the work of the
NFC, at many levels. To implement its extensive agenda, the NFC
will need to do some serious fund raising and recruitment to meet
its intended goal of 10,000 members by the year 2000. I, for
one, believe that the NFC will not only reach that goal, it will
surpass it because the NFC is a "big tent" type of organization,
with something for just about anyone interested in native fish,
whether hobbyist, biologist, sport fisherman, etc.
* Bimonthly newsletter, the FLIER, contains information on NFC
activities, conservation projects, research studies, environmen
tal issues; and also reports on membership activities involving
collecting, breeding, and rearing native fishes.
* NFC grants program is available to all members for research,
restoration, or any project benefiting or expanding our knowledge
of native fishes. This can include any project from a captive
propagation study to land purchases which will protect aquatic
* NFC Website <members.xoom.com/nativefishes/> contains a large
database of articles on native fishes and serves as an excellent
source of information to both researchers and aquarists.
* NFC Email list <nfc at actwin_com> provides a forum to report and
share information on native fishes and NFC activities and issues.
* Silent auctions and a regularly updated bulletin board allows
members to trade or sell fish, plants, books, etc.
* Breeders club where members can earn breeding points and
receive grants to help fund and document progress.
* Regional chapters across the country sponsor collecting trips,
help clean up streams, trade, or just get members acquainted with
other conservation minded people.
COUNT ME IN I WANT TO JOIN !!!!!!!!
NOTE: NFC is in the formative stages.
Memberships will begin September 1998
Detach and mail a check or a money order to NFC's membership director:
Konrad Schmidt, 1663 Iowa Avenue East, St. Paul Minnesota 55106
STUDENT (grade school - college) - 5$
Note: Please include School Name and Student ID #
Regular (US.) - $10 /Canada - $15/All Others - $20
Corporation - $100 (Includes advertisement on NFC's Website)
I'd like to give a tax deductible gift to NFC $________
I'm interested in volunteering _____ Locally _________ Nationally
(check one) please contact me!
You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
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- From: "Kudzu" <Kudzu at airnet_net>