The American Fisheries Society, started in 1870, is the oldest and largest organization devoted to the conservation and management of our nation's fisheries. Its membership includes people from industry, federal and state agencies, and universities.
On January 22, 1975, Dr. Roland E. Reagan, Jr. mailed a questionnaire to each member of the American Fisheries Society residing in the State of Mississippi concerning their interest in the establishment of a Mississippi Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.
On February, 14, 1975, a letter was written to Richard Wade, Executive Director of the AFS, by Drs. Roland Reagan, Thomas Wellborn, and Randall Robinette. In the letter, they stated the results of the survey was favorable for the establishment of a state chapter and requested guidance on the procedures for gaining a Mississippi Chapter Charter.
Following the suggestions of Executive Director Wade, a letter from Drs. Reagan, Wellborn, and Robinette was sent to all AFS members in the state informing them of an organizational meeting, time, and place (See Letter)
The organizational meeting was held on May 7, 1975 at the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission’s Laboratory on Ross Barnett Reservoir with 11 members of the AFS present. The Chapter By-Laws were discussed and approved as the first item of business and the election of officers followed. Dr. Ronal Reagan was elected President; Dr. Luther Knight, Vice-President, and Dr. Randall Robinette, Secretary-Treasurer. Other items of business included appointment of a committee to study the by-laws for possible amendment, approach to securing Chapter members, future meetings as to time and locations, fees or dues, and the petition to the parent society for our charter.(See Charter Meeting Minutes)
At the September, 1975 Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, the Executive Board and the members approved the petition for establishment of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
A Chapter meeting was held October 9, 1975 in Jackson at the Research and Development Center with 17 members present. The business meeting was conducted by President Reagan, VP Knight, and Secretary-Treasure Robinette. Items discussed included the following: the new AFS dues structure and publication policy, by-law changes, chapter function, future meetings, dues (set at $2.00), and appointment of a Nominating Committee and Resolutions Committee. Each individual gave a brief summary about their agency and/or particular area of work.(See Meeting Minutes)
The 1976 Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Chapter of the AFS was held at the Mississippi Test Facility, Bay St. Louis, on April 8th with 17 members present. The business meeting was conducted by President Reagan, President-elect Knight, and Secretary-Treasurer Robinette. Business meeting items were as follows: approval of the Oct. 9, 1975 minutes, Nominating Committee Report, by-laws and voting rights, next meeting, distribution of funds from the defunct Mississippi Environmental Society, distribution of ballots for election of officers and time limit for return. The program consisted of presentations by Jack Herring of the Mississippi Game & Fish Commission, Dr. Troy Millican of Delta State University, and Dr. Wendall Lorio of Mississippi State University.
In 1977, the Mississippi Chapter of the American Fisheries Society started a pattern of annual meetings alternating between regions of the state, and included formal research presentations by members, annual business meetings, and publication of meeting proceedings. Those publications contain the rich history of chapter members, research areas, and organizational direction, and can be found by reviewing the Chapter Archives page.
The Mississippi Chapter strives for the same goal as its parent society by combining the talents, resources, and knowledge of fisheries professionals and students who focus on the biological aspects and ecological requirements of Mississippi fishes and the social and economic importance of recreational and commercial fisheries across our great state.