Wild Trout IX
On 9-12 October 2007 we selected a new location, the Holiday Inn Resort and Conference Center, West Yellowstone, Montana. Old Faithful Lodge and portions of the Inn were closed for construction. The just under 200 attendees were very well pleased with the modern facilities and excellent friendly services provided by the Holiday Inn. The opening Plenary Session was moderated by Symposium Chairman Steve Moore and Paul Schullery, and emphasized WT-IX's theme, Sustaining Wild Trout in a Changing World. Fred Harris, North Carolina Wild Life Resources Commission; Van Van Gytenbeek, FFF; Virgil Moore Idaho Fish and Game; and TU's Chris Wood tasked us all to do better.
Program Co-Chairmen Bob Carline and Dirk Miller assembled an outstanding group of moderated panels including: Native Species Management; Catch-and-Release Fisheries; Habitat Enhancement and Restoration; Genetic Considerations; and Balancing Native and Introduced Species.
Participants were familiarized with a number of new studies including work on piscivorous ferox brown trout in Loch Rannoch, the unique dolly varden on Hokkaido Island, threats to Atlantic Salmon fisheries, and efforts, to preserve Sakhalin taimen in Japan's Sarukotu River. We learned how modern technology using microsatellite DNA, adaptive management, Google Earth, and bioelectrical impedance analysis were improving our capabilities. We also faced the transport of invasive New Zealand mud snails and Didymosphenia Alga and projected effects from global warming.
There was also an impressive array of contributed and poster papers and welcomed presentations by professionals from Canada, Japan, Norway, and Scotland. Of particular note was the increase in participation by fishery students, coordinated by Symposium Secretary, Liz Mamer. Student were offered registration at reduced rates, some housing assistance for student volunteers, and at WT-IX the establishment two student travel scholarships.
MSU Bozeman's cowboy English professor folk singer Greg Keeler entertained us once again at the Symposium banquet. This year, Greg wrote a song, Wild Trout, for the symposium that we hope can be included on the Proceedings CD.
The Aldo Starker Leopold Wild Trout Medals at WT-IX, addressed in detail in these proceedings, went to Nathaniel P. Reed in the professional category and to author, publisher, and wild trout advocate, Nick Lyons as the nonprofessional.
Historian-author Paul Schullery was the symposium summarizer and pointed out that many of this year's presentations gave us a long view of our wild trout resources as well as important insights that captured an evident spirit of the conference. He also sounded a call, that if we are have wild trout in our future, that we must greatly broaden the wild trout constituency.
Wild Trout-IX attendees joined with the organizing and program committees in applauding this symposium. We believe we have provided a forum that embodies not only an important learning experience, but that offers professionals, fishing conservationists, and interested anglers to get to know each other in the kind of informal environment that would not be otherwise possible. Please plan on attending Wild Trout-X in 2010.
Wild Trout IX Photo Album