2016 Annual Meeting of North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society

Hood River, Oregon – Best Western PLUS Hood River Inn

September 19-22, 2016


The North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society (NASPS) invites you to attend our 2016 annual meeting in Hood River, OR on September 19th – 22nd.  This will be a stand-alone meeting for the society and will provide a forum for sturgeon and paddlefish professionals to discuss new and emerging research geared toward a number of themes including conservation, restoration, and sustainable management. The Organizing Committee for the meeting includes Mike Parsley (Governing Board member), Linda Prendergast (NASPS volunteer), Lynn Palensky (NASPS member), Molly Webb (NASPS President), James Crossman (NASPS Vice President), Andrea Schreier (NASPS Treasurer), and Ryan Koenigs (Governing Board member). 


The first day of the meeting (Monday, September 19th) will offer three workshops:

  • Advanced Analyses of Telemetry Data with Application to Sturgeon and Paddlefish (full-day workshop),
  • Developmental Staging for Sturgeon Embryos and Yolk–Sac Larvae (half-day workshop), and
  • Side-Scan Sonar: Emerging Technology in Sturgeon and Paddlefish Research (full-day workshop).


Please see the WORKSHOP REGISTRATION section below to register for workshops. The remainder of the meeting will include 2.5 days of contributed papers in themed symposiums and the NASPS business meeting and listening session.


This meeting is designed to provide great amenities for a very reasonable registration cost.  Therefore, the majority of the meals (all breakfasts and lunches*) will be included in the registration cost.  Also included are a welcome social on Monday, September 19th (6-9 PM), a student-mentor social on Tuesday, September 20th (5:30-7:00 PM), and a poster session (5:30-6:30 PM) and dinner banquet* (6:30-10:00 PM) on Wednesday, September 21st.


*If you have dietary needs, please contact Molly Webb at info@nasps-sturgeon.com.



Meeting registration is available below using our PayPal button. Please use the drop down menu in the PayPal button to choose the correct registration fee (you will need to click on the little black arrow on the right hand side of the drop down menu to choose the correct registration fee before you click on the BUY NOW button).


Registration for NASPS members (regular, senior, and lifetime) is $395, NASPS student members is $295, and non-NASPS members is $495 (this does not include NASPS membership dues).


You can become a NASPS member or renew your NASPS membership at www.nasps-sturgeon.org/about/join-us.aspx


Registration deadline is September 5.  There will be no on-site registration.



Meeting Registration



All refund requests must be made in writing by email to Andrea Schreier (amdrauch@ucdavis.edu) and received no later than 5 PM PST on September 14th.  A total of 80% of the meeting charges will be refunded.  Full refunds will be issued in the case of cancellation of a continuing education workshop.




Hood River is located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the waterfront venue is steps from the Columbia River.  Sturgeon and paddlefish enthusiasts know that the Columbia River, home to white and green sturgeon, is one of North America's premier sturgeon rivers.  Hood River is only a 1-hour drive from the Portland, Oregon airport via I-84 for easy access to the meeting.  It is one of America's 100 best adventure towns as selected by National Geographic for participants wanting to extend their stay for windsurfing, kite boarding, hiking, mountain and road bicycling, and white water rafting or kayaking.  Meeting attendees can also make arrangements with local fishing guides for a day of sturgeon, salmon, smallmouth bass, or walleye fishing.


The Best Western Plus Hood River Inn (http://www.hoodriverinn.com/) is located on the Columbia River shoreline with scenic river views and a private beach. The venue has a restaurant, lounge, heated swimming pool, indoor and outdoor spas, fitness center, and sauna. The Best Western will accommodate our complete meeting needs and is an easy walk to downtown Hood River, which has a large selection of restaurants, microbreweries, wine tasting venues, and shopping opportunities.


A block of rooms has been reserved for our meeting at the Best Western Hood River Inn at the conference rate of $119 - $144/night.  The Best Western Hood River Inn is giving meeting attendees discounted room rates, depending on the rooms available, but they will not honor the government rate.  Other hotels in the area are also over per diem and are not offering a discounted rate.  


To reserve a room, please call 800-828-7873 and reference the North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society or NASPS meeting to be included in the room block.  All rooms must be booked by August 19th.   Room rates do exceed federal per diem rates but are provided to NASPS at a significantly reduced rate. Make your room reservation soon for the least expensive price.  You may cancel your room reservation with no penalty up to 72 hours before arrival. 




Hood River is only a 1-hour drive from the Portland, Oregon airport via I-84.  Car rentals are available at the airport or shuttles from the airport are available, such as:


Hood River Taxi

(541) 905-8296



Explore the Gorge

(541) 386-2384


PDX Pacific Shuttle

(503) 419-7668


If you are driving to Hood River, we recommend a stop at Bonneville Hatchery (approximately half way to Hood River on I-84; Oregon side of the Columbia River and downstream of Bonneville Dam) to visit Herman the Sturgeon or a stop at Bonneville Dam (from I-84 cross the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks; the visitors center for Bonneville Dam is downstream of the Bridge of the Gods several miles on the Washington side of the Columbia River).  Fish viewing windows are available at each site.







Abstracts may be submitted to the following symposium themes:


Biology and Ecology

Habitat Restoration

Regulated Rivers

Conservation Genetics


Aquaculture and Conservation Propagation


Bottlenecks to Recovery

Fish Passage

Effectiveness Monitoring


Abstracts will be submitted online for the 2016 meeting in Hood River.  Please submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) starting May 16th online using the following link NASPS 2016 ABSTRACT SUBMISSION.  The deadline for abstract submission is June 30th.  Abstracts should include a statement of objectives, a brief description of methods, principal results, and conclusions or management recommendations.  Include scientific names in the abstract but not in the title.  The title should clearly describe what will be presented and should avoid abbreviation of place names (e.g. state or country).  Pay close attention to directions in the online form when formatting the presenting author’s name, affiliation, address, phone, and e-mail, and names of co-authors and their affiliations.  All presenters must indicate their presentation preference – ORAL or POSTER at the time of submission.  Finally, NASPS will be publishing the proceedings from this meeting in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology.  Authors will be required to indicate if they are interested in submitting a full paper to the proceedings when they submit their abstract.  Additional information regarding timelines related to the proceedings will be made available closer to the abstract submission deadline. 


Oral presentations will be limited to 20 minutes (15 minute presentation with 5 minutes for questions).  For guidelines for oral and poster presentations, please look at the following document when preparing for the meeting:



Guidelines for Submission of NASPS Oral Presentations and Posters


For any questions about abstracts or the online submission, please contact James Crossman at info@nasps-sturgeon.com.




Two travel awards for $250 each will be provided to students who are giving a poster or oral presentation.  Applicants must be currently enrolled as a student in Canada or the U.S. (regardless of degree) and must be a student member of NASPS.  To apply, please submit the following:


1.  A copy of submitted abstract,

2.  C.V.,

3.  Letter of support from advisor,

4.  Student letter describing commitment to sturgeon/paddlefish science, how meeting attendance will benefit your career, and financial need. Please do not exceed 1 page.


Funds are not distributed in advance of the meeting.  Students must be present at the meeting to receive the funds.


Submit materials electronically by June 30th to Peter Allen peter.allen@msstate.edu.



STUDENT MENTOR SOCIAL (Tuesday, September 20th 5:30-7:00 PM)

Students, come and meet sturgeon professionals in your field of interest: ecology/habitat, management, genetics, behavior, life history/physiology!


Please email the NASPS Student Subunit President Joshua Schulze (jschu194@uwsp.edu) if you would like to participate.  Include your name, if you are a Student or Mentor, your agency/institution, and your area of professional interest in the email.



IUCN MEETING (Thursday, September 22nd 12:30-5:00 PM and September 23rd 9:00 AM-12:00 PM)

For those of you participating in the IUCN meeting, we will meet on the afternoon of the 22nd and the morning of the 23rd to discuss the changes made to each species Red List assessment.  Please make your travel arrangements appropriately.  We are so appreciative of your efforts!



WORKSHOP REGISTRATION (Workshops to be held Monday, September 19th)

There will be 3 continuing education workshops held at the NASPS 2016 annual meeting:  Advanced Analyses of Telemetry Data with Application to Sturgeon and Paddlefish, Developmental Staging for Sturgeon Embryos and Yolk –Sac Larvae, and Side-Scan Sonar: Emerging Technology in Sturgeon and Paddlefish Research.  Information for each workshop is below.  You may register for workshops using the PayPal button at the bottom of this page. Please use the drop down menu in the PayPal button to choose the correct workshop.


If you are waiting for agency approval to attend the meeting and would like to reserve space in a workshop, please register for the workshop as space (25 per workshop) is limited.  Full refunds can be issued in the case of cancellation of a continuing education workshop before 5 PM PST on September 14th.  If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to attend a workshop, you must be a member in good standing.


Advanced Analyses of Telemetry Data with Application to Sturgeon and Paddlefish


Organizers:   Jason G. Romine, USGS

                     Dewayne A. Fox, Delaware State University

                     Stephania K. Bolden, NOAA Fisheries

                     Stephanie Smedbol, Vemco


Workshop date and Time:  Monday, September 19 (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)

Workshop Location:  Best Western Hood River Conference Room

Workshop Cost:  $65 USD


Acoustic telemetry is a common approach used to monitor sturgeon and paddlefish; capable of answering both biological questions and aiding management prescriptions for threatened and endangered species.  Recent technological advances have allowed increased numbers of transmitters to be deployed, simultaneous monitoring of multiple individuals (e.g. positioning systems), and coordinated data collection with passive receiver arrays covering large spatial areas.  There can be many complications with the analysis of acoustic telemetry data including data management, identification of false detections, and varying detection probabilities among receiver stations and tag collisions.  While the workshop will provide an overview of the design, planning, tag and receiver system selection for telemetry studies, the majority of the workshop will be a practical session focused on methodologies used in the analysis of data collected  from existing studies.  The workshop will provide a brief overview of the latest developments in acoustic telemetry The workshop will be delivered using R and participants will require a basic understanding of the R interface to track examples as they are discussed.  A link to the R software,  required packages, and code will be provided prior to the workshop.  Participants should expect to take away analytical methods that they can apply to their own telemetry datasets.  Participants are required to provide their own laptop. 


Lunch will be provided during the workshop.



Developmental Staging for Sturgeon Embryos and Yolk –Sac Larvae

Organizers:    Katy J. Jay, Jay Environmental

                      James A. Crossman, BC Hydro

                      Molly A.H. Webb, USFWS


Workshop Date and Time:  Monday, September 19 (8:30 AM – 12:30 PM)

Workshop Location:  USGS Columbia River Lab (Tentative)

Workshop Cost: $50.00 USD


Correct assignment of developmental stages to sturgeon embryos and yolk-sac larvae is critical when estimating spawning time in the field and for standardizing among experimental treatments in laboratory settings.  This half-day session will be a practical workshop designed to give participants experience developmentally staging embryos and yolk-sac larvae in both laboratory and field settings.  The session will begin with an overview of the key features for each of the 35 embryo and 10 yolk-sac larval developmental stages (Detlaff et al. 1993).  This will be followed by a practical exercise where participants will developmentally stage white sturgeon embryo and yolk-sac larval samples using tools available in both laboratory and field settings.  In addition, there will be an open discussion on the need for standardizing sturgeon embryo and yolk-sac larval staging practices in North America, along with management applications including estimating time of fertilization, hatch, and larval drift, providing insight into larval behavior and reproductive ecology, and improving experimental design for laboratory studies. 


Detlaff, T.A., A.S. Ginsburg, and O.I. Schmalhausen. 1993. Sturgeon Fishes, developmental biology and aquaculture, Springer-Verlag. 300pp.



Side-Scan Sonar: Emerging Technology in Sturgeon and Paddlefish Research

Organizers:    Jacob Hughes, Idaho Power Company

                     Adam Kaeser, USFWS


Workshop Date and Time:  Monday September 19 (8:00 AM – 4:30 PM)

Workshop Location:  Columbia River and Best Western Hotel Conference Room

Workshop Cost: $95.00 USD


With recent advances in sonar technology and the advent of low-cost (<$3,000), off-the-shelf equipment, side scan sonar has evolved as a multi-purpose tool for freshwater habitat and inland fisheries research.  By producing high resolution imagery across broad swaths of river channel or lake bottom, side scan sonar enables both the detection of large-bodied sturgeon and the direct association of fish with features of their habitat.  These essential capabilities are set to transform the way we investigate sturgeon.  The goal of this workshop is to provide an overview of side scan sonar applications relevant to sturgeon research.  Our day will begin on the Columbia River with a hands-on demonstration of “survey-grade” sonar, enabling participants to experience data collection first-hand.  Back in the lab we will discuss side scan technology, survey considerations and data processing, and applications in sturgeon research and management.  We encourage participants to bring a laptop computer with ArcGIS to facilitate a sturgeon detection exercise and view data from the morning field-trip.  No previous sonar knowledge or experience is necessary.


Lunch will be provided during the workshop.





Workshop Registration


If you have any questions, please contact us at info@nasps-sturgeon.com.


We look forward to seeing you in Hood River!

The NASPS Governing Board