2018 Annual Meeting of North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society

Columbia, Missouri – Courtyard by Marriott

October 21-25, 2018



The North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society (NASPS) invites you to attend our 2018 annual meeting in Columbia, Missouri on October 21st-25th.  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 meeting will begin with 3 days of contributed sessions and end with continuing education workshops. 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 Sunday, October 21st (6-9 PM), a student-mentor social on Monday, October 22nd (5:30-6:30 PM), and a poster session (5:00-6:00 PM) and dinner banquet (6:00-10:00 PM) on Wednesday, October 24th.


We will have an exciting new meeting format that includes two half-day special symposia with the intention to facilitate focused sessions on specific issues with an outcome that leads to identifying key uncertainties and data gaps, opportunities for analyses or new research avenues, and increased partnerships among researchers working toward common questions related to sturgeon and paddlefish recovery.  The half-day symposium on Tuesday October 23rd will be Recruitment Bottlenecks for Sturgeons and Paddlefish.  The half-day symposium on Wednesday October 24th will be Population Dynamics.




Columbia is located in northern mid-Missouri and is approximately one hour from the Missouri River, the longest river in North America. Pallid Sturgeon, Shovelnose Sturgeon, Lake Sturgeon, and Paddlefish may be found in the Missouri River Osage River confluence. 


The Columbia Regional Airport may be accessed directly from Chicago and Denver.  Kansas City International Airport also provides numerous flights and many different carriers and is 2 hours and 15 minutes away from Columbia, while Lambert International Airport in St. Louis provides numerous flights and is 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Columbia.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Courtyard by Marriot (3301 Lemone Industrial Blvd) at the conference rate of $99/night. To make a reservation, go to www.marriott.com/coucy, enter the dates and under the group code enter SPSSPSA for a King with sofa sleeper room or SPSSPSB for a double queen room.  You may also call 1-800-MARRIOTT or 573-443-8000 and use the same codes.  The room block closes October 1.  Make your room reservations before then!




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 $350, NASPS student members is $300, and non-NASPS members is $420 (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 October 5.  There will be no on-site registration.


NASPS 2018 Annual Registration Fees



Session themes for the meeting will include:

     Biology and Ecology

     Habitat Restoration

     Regulated Rivers

     Conservation Genetics


     Aquaculture and Conservation Propagation


     Bottlenecks to Recovery

     Fish Passage

     Effectiveness Monitoring


Abstracts must be submitted online by August 3rd.  Please submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) using the following link




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. 


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 Dr. James Crossman at nasps@nasps-sturgeon.org.



STUDENT MENTOR SOCIAL (Monday, October 21st, 5:30-6:30 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 Michael Moore (naspsstudents@gmail.com) 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.




Three workshops will be offered on Thursday October 25th.  The workshops will be Habitat Assessments in Large Rivers, Population Dynamics and Modelling for Sturgeon and Paddlefish, and Telemetry Analysis.


Theory and Practice of Habitat Assessments in Large Rivers

The objective of this workshop is to acquaint participants with theoretical and practical aspects of evaluating aquatic habitats in large rivers. The presenters are members of the habitat dynamics team in the River Studies Branch, USGS, Columbia, Missouri. The team has two decades of experience collecting and evaluating habitat data on large rivers, with emphasis on the Missouri River and application to the endangered pallid sturgeon. The workshop will cover objectives and sample design, instrumentation basics, instrumentation deployments, and data management, reduction, and analysis. The deployments discussed will include a range of complexity (and cost) from consumer grade depth finders and sidescan to complex hydroacoustic mapping using acoustic Doppler current profilers, multibeam echosounders, and high-resolution sidescan. Analytical methods will include data reduction for GIS visualizations, data feeds to support multidimensional hydrodynamic modeling, and statistical assessments of habitat selection. The all-day workshop will include a short trip to the Missouri River to view hydroacoustic data collection in action. Space will be limited to 20 participants.


Tentative Agenda

  • Objectives and sample design           
  • Instrumentation basics          
  • Instrumentation deployments           
  • Lunch and on-the-water  demonstrations on the Missouri River     
  • Data management, reduction, and analysis  
  • Discussion      



Robert Jacobson, Ph.D., Supervisory Research Hydrologist

Susannah Erwin, Ph.D., Research Hydrologist

Aaron DeLonay, MS, Ecologist

Carrie Elliott, MS, Geologist

Edward Bulliner, MS, Ecologist


Population Dynamics and Modelling for Sturgeon and Paddlefish

Population modeling is commonly used to manage and conserve sturgeon and paddlefish populations. This 4-hour workshop will cover the basics of developing a population model with applied sturgeon and paddlefish examples.

Who should attend the workshop? Attendees should be interested in learning about how to set up a population model, forecast population dynamics, and perform a sensitivity analysis. Also, attendees should be interested in tools like excel, R, Stella, and VenSim can be used to develop models.

Do I need to be a programmer and an expert in the previous software to get anything out of it? No, the workshop will be taught at a level that assumes attendees have no prior experience with the software

What can I expect to get out of this workshop? Attendees can expect to learn how to develop and translate conceptual models to population models. Additionally, attendees can expect to learn how to parameterize a model, forecast population dynamics, and evaluate model sensitivity. Lastly, integration of models and monitoring will be addressed.

Who will teach this workshop? The workshop will be taught by Dr. Mike Colvin, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University who has developed population models for sturgeon and paddlefish as well as salmon. 


Telemetry Analysis

Telemetry is a common approach used to monitor sturgeon and paddlefish, capable of answering biological questions and aiding the management of threatened and endangered populations.  Technological advances have allowed increased numbers of transmitters to be deployed, simultaneous monitoring and fine-scale positioning of multiple individuals from a population, and coordinated data collection with passive receiver arrays covering large spatial areas.  There are some challenges with the analysis of telemetry data including data management, time correction, identification of false detections, and assessment of array performance over time.  This workshop will focus on methodologies used in the management and analysis of collected telemetry data, including data QA, system performance assessment, analysis of detection (presence/absence) and fine-scale positioning data, and data visualization.  Examples using acoustic telemetry data will be provided, however many of the methodologies presented can equally be applied to other types of telemetry data.  Examples will focus on the use of Vemco’s VUE and Range Test software and the GLATOS R package.  Workshop participants should be familiar with telemetry data manipulation.  A working knowledge of R will be helpful but is not required.



Dale Webber, Ph.D., Research Biologist, Vemco

Chris Holbrook, Ph.D., Research Fisheries Biologist, USGS Great Lakes Science Center

Stephanie Smedbol, B.Sc., P.Eng., Technical Marketing Engineer, Vemco



Data Management and QA

  • Time correction
  • Identifying false detections
  • Filtering your detection data into events


Range Test and System Performance Analysis

  • Analysis of stationary range test data
  • Analysis of drift test data


System Performance Analysis

  • Ping data analysis
  • Sentinel tag data analysis
  • Gate performance


Detection Data Analysis



  • Calculating swimming speeds
  • Migration survival estimates
  • Analysis of detection “events”


Centers of Activity Analysis


Fine-Scale Positioning Data Analysis

  • Home range analysis
  • Position error analysis


Data Visualization



NASPS 2018 Workshops



Students may apply for travel awards ($500 each).  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.  Funds are not distributed in advance of the meeting.  Students must be present at the meeting to receive the funds.


To apply, see the following link:



Submit materials electronically by June 30th to nasps@nasps-sturgeon.org.




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 October 8th.  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.



The 2018 Program-at-a-Glance may been reviewed by clicking on the following link


NASPS 2018 Annual Meeting Program-at-a-Glance