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Texas fish collecting

Kim:  I am sure that many of the people on the NFC discussion list would 
be quite interested in trading fish with you, should you decide to go 
collecting in Texas.  There quite a few killifish species, especially in 
the eastern part of the state, Texas also has several livebearer 
species, pupfish, REALLY neat darters (such as the Rio Grande Darter, 
bright green with pink fins) and lots of other fish, including shiners, 
dace, sunfish, etc., along with the only native US cichlid, the Texas 
Cichlid. As Robert Rice noted, the best field guide is Peterson's Field 
Guide to the Freshwater Fishes, which can be purchased from Amazon Books 
from the hyperlink at the Native Fish Conservancy's home page, located 
at:  http://nativefish.interspeed.net/

Be sure to check local regulations to ensure that your collecting 
activities are legal.  Many states have scientific collection permits 
(SCP) that allow taking of non-game fish not allowed under normal 
fishing licenses, which usually only allow taking of baitfish.  If a SCP 
is needed, let me know and I can help you fill out the forms, 
documentation, etc.  Of course, these are MUCH easier to get if you are 
associated with a conservation organization, such as the NFC.  A text 
version of our last newsletter, which contains an application and 
special offer for a complementary Tomelleri fine art print, is attached 
to this message.   

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                        FLIER NEWSLETTER
               Volume 1 - Number 1 May/June 1998
                A Publication of the Native Fish
                       Conservancy, Inc.
                     Konrad Schmidt, Editor
                       1663 Iowa Ave. East
                       St. Paul, MN 55106
WHAT'S THIS? The FLIER newsletter is a publication of the Native Fish Conservancy (NFC)
which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation, research, and education of
primarily non-game fishes native to North America. The aptly named flier
(Centrarchusmacropterus) 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 Statement, Frequently
Asked Questions, and member benefits. If you like what you see and want to join, please fill out
the membership 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: Additional 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
inKansas, (3) Dave Etnier - The Fishes of Tennessee. (4) Larry Page - Handbook of Darters and
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 ofMissouri
is out and at a steal of a price. The soft cover 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 following darter 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 controversial. There will be no exemptions afforded to any
agency, program, 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 applaud 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!


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 complying with all local, state and federal laws, rules
and regulations. 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 conservation 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 fish.


                 By  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 publications costs
       because we qualify for greatly reduced postage rates. Local and national conservation
       projects receive approximately 80% of all revenue generated from membership fees,
       contributions, 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 "sticker shock."

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

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 collecting 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 accomplished by lobbying government agencies and legislators to
       amend or create new laws which currently apply solely to angling activities.

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 land purchases.

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://nativefish/interspeed.net) contains 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

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 restoration project.

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.


          By: Dwight D. Moody, NFC Secretary/Treasurer

Flier Editor's Note: This section was included because of several 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 considerably 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 interest 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 members, and are not financially supported by the NANFA Board
of Directors (BOD). The NFC, on the other hand, will funnel significant 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 organization 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 important

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.

                      NFC MEMBER BENEFITS

* Bimonthly newsletter, the FLIER, contains information on NFC activities, conservation
projects, research studies, environmental 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 habitats.

 * NFC Website (http://nativefish/interspeed.net) 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 
Complete this form  and mail it, along with  a check or a money order, payable to NFC, to NFC's
membership director:

                         Konrad Schmidt
                    NFC Membership Director
                     1663 Iowa Avenue East
                    St. Paul Minnesota 55106




STATE__________________________ ZIP_______________________________ 

PHONE__________________________ FAX_______________________________ 


                       MEMBERSHIP RATES 

Student (grade school - college): $5.  Note: Please include School Name and Student ID # 

School Name: _______________________ Student ID#: ___________________________

Regular Membership: 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!

______Yes, I want the Special Offer Tomelleri Print! Add $2.00 for postage

First choice:   ___________________________ Second choice:__________________________

Third choice: ___________________________