Native Fish Committee
The Native Fish Committee is comprised of a diverse group of fisheries scientists representing many different federal, state, and tribal agencies and private enterprises. The committee has focused on educational outreach from the classroom to an annual foray to explore native fish assemblages or species in their natural environment. Periodically the committee finds itself representing a native species at risk and writing letters of support for conservation actions or a position statement on behalf of native fish and the chapter. The committee recognizes the issues and problems confronting Idaho's native fish from anthropogenic impacts to natural or succession changes and the impacts of non-native species. Regardless of the species stature regarding sport and non-sport fish all are important components to a fish assemblage and ecosystem. Annually recognition is given with the R. L. Wallace Award to an individual or individuals that have made an exemplary effort or efforts on behalf of an Idaho native fish or fishes.
The Mission of the Native Fish Committee is to promote the conservation of Idaho's native fish through education and outreach activities, public recognition of outstanding work towards native fish conservation; and to serve as an outlet for the discussion and dissemination of information pertinent to Idaho's native fish.
The committee will seek to accomplish the committee mission through the following goals:
- Educate biologists, chapter members, and other interested parties on the biology, habitat requirements, status, and threats/impacts to Idaho's native fish.
- Publicly acknowledge individuals or groups who have made noteworthy contributions to the conservation of Idaho's native fish.
- Provide technical assistance to the chapter on issues involving native fish.
- Awarded the Richard L. Wallace Native Fish Conservationist Award to Joseph DosSantos of Avista Utilities. Joe was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Lower Clark Fork River Native Salmonid Restoration Plan that was developed as part of the Clark Fork Settlement Agreement. Plan implementation involved working cooperatively with numerous stakeholders and lead to substantial restoration and protection of native fish populations in the Lower Clark Fork River/Lake Pend Oreille drainage on the Idaho/Montana border.
- The Native Fish Committee developed a supplemental lesson on Idaho's native trout for use by Trout in the Classroom (TIC) teachers and mentors. The objective of the lesson is to introduce students to the concept of native animals, specifically Idaho's native trout, and how they differ from one another in color, markings, and distribution. This lesson is available on the ICAFS Education webpage.
- Organized a field trip in 2014 that included 1) a tour of Dworshak Fish Hatchery to learn about steelhead and salmon production and conservation, and 2) collected sculpin from tributaries of the Lochsa and Selway Rivers to contribute to SculpinQWEST, which is an effort to crowd-source sculpin genetic tissue to contribute to resolving taxonomic uncertainty surrounding sculpins in the West.
- Awarded the Richard L. Wallace Native Fish Conservationist Award to Lonnie Hutson (Artist) and the staff of the U of I Prichard Art Gallery for their exhibit "38 Minus: Fishes of Idaho." The exhibit showcased castings of Idaho’s native fishes and included an education module to teach the public about conservation issues surrounding Idaho’s native fishes.