Wild Trout X
Wild Trout X was held once again in West Yellowstone, Montana, September 28-30, 2010, at the wonderfully accommodating Holiday Inn Resort and Conference Center. Attendance was truly international this year, with participants coming from as far away as Canada, Denmark, Italy and Serbia. Again the Holiday Inn staff and facilities provided a welcoming environment for everyone.
The theme for WT-X was straightforward and to the point. Symposium chair Dirk Miller of Wyoming Game and Fish chose "Conserving Wild Trout" to emphasize why we all take the time to gather at events such as these. The message was supported by plenary speaker Dr. Barbara Knuth, Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management and Co-leader of the Human Dimensions Research at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She discussed how examining social and economic trends associated with freshwater fishing, and trout fishing specifically, can yield especially useful insights for managers when working in these resources.
Followed by Dr. Steve McMullin, Associate Department Head of the Department of Fish & Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech, Dr. McMullin addressed the ever-changing world of instantaneous information in the role of decision making and public opinion. He detailed how recent experiences with stakeholders in controversial resource management issues demonstrate that resource managers must communicate openly and rapidly, using communication tools available to stakeholders.
The plenary session was wrapped up with a northwest landscape presentation by Dr. Bruce Rieman and Dan Isaaks, both of USDA/FS Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise, Idaho, who described the ever-constant changes and pressures wild trout face in our current environment of global climate change. Their brief overview provided key points emerging from their synthesis of climate change and wild trout data across the intermountain west, and briefly explored recommendations for how we all might anticipate, adapt, prioritize, and collaborate in management of wild trout in response to climate change.
The sessions were well attended (despite the incredibly great weather!) and continued with more sessions covering: Climate Change and Wild Trout; Economic and Cultural Values of Wild Trout; Genetic Considerations for Managing Wild Trout; Wild Trout in the Face of Invasive Species; Management and Conservation of Wild Trout and Resource Extraction and Wild Trout Restoration Efforts.
There were 28 poster presentations this year adding to the wide range of topics covered.
A very special symposium event was offered at WT-X, facilitated by Marty Seldon, a dedicated supporter of fisheries conservation in Northern California. Symposium participants and local guests were treated to an exclusive screening of the award-winning documentary Rivers of a Lost Coast, narrated by Tom Skerritt. A poignant, thought provoking film, Rivers of a Lost Coast follows California's coastal fly fishing community through the rise and collapse of one of the world's most magical fisheries.
Steve Moore, a WT symposium chair of 2004 & 2007, supervisory Fisheries Biologist of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and this year's Aldo Starker Leopold Professional Award recipient closed the meeting for us, reminding us that we all now have "An Opportunity to Share Information." Steve left us with the following observations: We are Always Under the Microscope - improve your communication skills to improve mutual trust and good working relationships between professionals and stakeholders; Make Connections with Environmental Factors that Society Values to increase mutual conservation goals; and that Together We Can Make a Difference by working together and keeping wild trout conservation a priority.
The following awards were given at the awards luncheon:
Aldo Starker Leopold Awards: Steve Moore (professional), Tom Pero (Non-professional)
TU/FFF Stewardship Award: Little River Chapter TU
Marty Seldon Graduate Student Award (inaugural award): Bradly Trumbo, Daniel James
Ron Remmick Undergraduate Student Award: Charles Cathcart
Wild Trout-X was a resounding success and we hope you will join us for WT-XI in Old Faithful, WY, fall of 2013!
For entire WTX proceedings, click here Wild Trout X 2010