The 2019 annual meeting of the North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society will be held at the Lakeview Hecla Resort, Manitoba, Canada from Sunday September 8th to Thursday September 12th. The meeting will follow the format of recent NASPS meetings with a focus on contributed papers to a variety of themed sessions along with a special symposium on a topic important to sturgeon and paddlefish recovery. In keeping with NASPS tradition, the meeting will also feature several workshops and preliminary topics being discussed include communicating scientific information, genetics, database development and management, and habitat restoration. More information to come on the workshops.


Location:  The Lakeview Hecla Resort is approximately 2 hours by car north of Winnipeg International Airport where flights arrive daily from most major North American hubs. The local organizing committee are working on shuttle and ride share options from the airport to the resort.


Accommodations: The 2019 NASPS annual meeting will be held at Hecla Island, Manitoba at the Lakeview Hecla Resort from September 8th-12th. Conference proceedings will be held in the resort, and there will be a block of rooms reserved for attendees. Rooms (double queen or king beds) are $120 CAD ($90 USD) plus tax for up to two people. There will be a charge of $15 CAD/night/person if more than two people are sharing a room.  Occupancy can be no more than 4 people per room.  You will need to call (204)279-2041 and ask for the North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society room block for this rate.  More information on the resort and rooms can be found here:


As an alternative to the resort lodging, there is a full-service campground located nearby, just a 15 minute walk from the resort. At the campground, they have 2, 4, 5, and 6-person cabins available for rent ranging from $38.10 to $69.16 CAD a night for the whole cabin. Number of rooms vary between cabins, but a six bed cabin may have two bedrooms and one living area with pull out couch. Bedrooms will be shared in the cabins. The cabins have heat, electricity and basic kitchen appliances; however, there is no running water, but excellent shower and washroom facilities are located nearby in a separate building. Reserving the cabins is done through the provincial parks website (, and they open for booking on March 18th on a first come, first served basis.


Food: As with previous NASPS meetings, your registration fee will include the fantastic scientific program we are developing, alongside breakfast, lunch and dinner, coffee breaks and social events throughout the week.


Abstract Submission: Abstract submission is open! As in past years, it will be conducted online and you can submit your abstract following this link: 2019 NASPS Abstract Submission. The first call for abstracts closes May 31st.


Student Travel Awards: Submission closes June 28th. See the following link for details.


Order of Acipenser Award:  The NASPS is seeking nominations for the 2019 Order of the Acipenser award. The Order of Acipenser is presented by NASPS to an individual or individuals for their outstanding contributions to the conservation, recovery, and/or management of sturgeon or paddlefish in North America. The award will be presented at the annual meeting.  For more information see the following link

Order of Acipenser Award 2019





Registration:  To purchase your registration, please use the PayPal drop down menu and select your registration fee by membership type.  If you are puchasing meals and events for your spouse/guest, you will need to make a second transaction.  If your Administrative Officer (AO) is purchasing your registration, please send an email to with the AO's name and your name to ensure complete registration.  


Registration deadline is August 30th.  There will be no onsite registration.


Registration by Membership Type



Workshops:  The NASPS is currently offering three workshops which will be held on Thursday September 12th.  Each workshop is $50 USD (if the PayPal button does not populate the cost automatically, please enter the cost manually).


Effective Communication in Science and Conservation

Stephanie Backhouse, Manitoba Hydro

Cheryl Klassen, Manitoba Hydro

Molly Webb, USFWS


An essential component of the scientific process is effective communication.  Communicating science with scientists, managers, regulators, stakeholder groups and the public can be challenging, and the politics and societal context surrounding scientific issues can vary.  This can be especially important (and in equal measures more difficult) when the purpose is to engage stakeholder groups to participate in conservation and stewardship actions. This workshop will focus on the importance of communication, the various target audiences, and effective communication style(s) for different target audiences.  We will work through a real-life case study, and participants will have a chance to apply learned techniques during  a communication exercise.  This will be a half day workshop and will be held from 9-12 on September 12th.



Managing multiple data types using a relational database to facilitate storage, accessibility, and analyses for sturgeon and paddlefish researchers. 

Laurence Masson, University of Northern British Columbia

Eduardo Martins, University of Northern British Columbia

James Crossman, BC Hydro


The amount of data being collected to address questions related to sturgeon and paddlefish recovery has increased significantly due to both advancements in technology and the long-term nature of many programs as a result of the unique life history of many species.  Further, researchers are commonly managing multiple data types that can include life history information (e.g. capture and biological information), environmental covariates (e.g. flows or habitat), animal movements (e.g. telemetry), and other important program components (e.g. hatchery programs).  Managing these data individually using common tools such as flat files (e.g. Excel spreadsheet) can rapidly become unpractical, leading to limitations in analytical approaches, increased processing time, or a loss of data when combining different data types. Relational databases were developed to facilitate manipulation of large and complex data sets by creating connections among all components of the data set from which queries can rapidly extract information for data analysis. During this workshop, we will introduce the use of relational databases in managing large and complex data sets like those collected for sturgeon and paddlefish recovery programs. We will demonstrate the design and implementation of the relational databases using PostgreSQL, a free program available to all researchers. This workshop will introduce the key tools available to connect tables, add spatial functions, facilitate control over data content in tables, and updates to accommodate constraints related to the spatio-temporal scales of the study. Finally, we will work through examples of queries using an existing sturgeon database to isolate specific data and build working databases for analysis. Work on PostgreSQL will be conducted using R as an interface, but other user-friendly interfaces will be introduced. A working knowledge of R is helpful but not required.  This will be a half day workshop and will be held from 9-12 on September 12th.



Genomic Analysis for Sturgeon Researchers 

Thierry Gosselin, CSIRO, Hobart, Tasmania


Polyploids, like the Acipenseriformes, are very challenging for genetics. Traditional and putatively neutral molecular markers (e.g. microsatellites) have always been more limited for sturgeons and paddlefish. The democratization of genome-scale approaches, such as RADseq, are welcome additions in the conservation toolbox of species with complex and large genomes. These genomics approaches have one common trade-off: the computational approaches, to uncover the biological information, have become the bottleneck for most biologists.

While this workshop will focus on demystifying and highlighting some of the best bioinformatic tools and pipelines, working with polyploids requires top wet-lab practices to minimize artifacts and potential noise in downstream analysis. Consequently, the workshop will also address important wet-lab/pre-sequencing strategies. 

The target audience for the workshop range from the researcher in it’s early stage of project preparation to the researcher with sequencing or genotyping data at hand.

Topics covered:

• Wet-lab: DNA extraction, library preparation and sequencing strategies (outsourcing the wet and dry lab parts will be discussed).

• computer setup (laptop and cloud computing resources, to address the computational challenges faced by small laboratories).

• Important QC steps for researchers using sequencing services that also cover the genotyping (e.g. DArT, SNPausaurus, etc).

• Important steps for researchers doing the genotyping themselves with software like stacks (other approaches will be mentioned).

• Special concern for de novo assembly (key parameters to minimize paralogy and assembly artifacts, intrinsic of highly duplicated genomes).

• QC and Filtering: important metrics and statistics to look for.


This will be a full day workshop and will be held from 9-4 on September 12th.



NASPS Workshops 2019