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Thank You Wayne

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#1 AC-editor

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:09 PM

Thanks for a great conference and you deserve a couple of days off as a reward. I hope I speak for everyone by saying you made it a most enjoyable and informative meeting.
Once again Thanks,
James D. Clark
Senior Aquarist, Special Exhibits, Fishes Department
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Chicago IL

#2 keepnatives

  • Regional Rep

Posted 29 September 2008 - 12:08 PM

Thanks for a great conference and you deserve a couple of days off as a reward. I hope I speak for everyone by saying you made it a most enjoyable and informative meeting.
Once again Thanks,

James does speak for everyone I'm sure, but I have to say for myself it was a great time. I just can't pick which was best, the food (I think a chili cook off aught to be mandatory), the fishing (I found fountain darters in the bird bath at the hotel :wink: ), the speakers were fantastic and maybe the highlight being the auction which I really think should be video taped from now on. Phil's quick wit as auctioneer and the bidding wars between you and James or was it you and everybody else, were quite entertaining not to mention profitable. Sorry I missed swimming with the giant alligator gars and blue catfish the centers displays were awesome.

I have four recommendations for everyone regarding future conventions:
1. Wherever it is, attend there's too much to miss
2. Go a day or two early to enjoy the area
3. Stay a day or two late there's always so much to do
4. Bring lots of cash for the auction and some items to donate

A few of my other favorite things:
Wayne's fish feeding dive show where the star longnose gar "Fingers" played hide and seek.
Great banquet speakers, authors of freshwater Fishes of Texas.
Mike Wolfes first attempt and quite possibly last at noodling.
Paddlefish feeding.

Again thanks for the tremendous effort you and the others put in to make this happen.
Mike Lucas
Mohawk-Hudson Watershed
Schenectady NY

#3 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors

Posted 29 September 2008 - 12:45 PM

I agree with Mikeon all the positives, and yes, you can be pretty sure that there will be no further 'noodling' attempts from me... for those of you who were not there, let's just say that I learned about blue cat 'teeth' and my own propensity to bleed...

I would like to re-emphasize that having the authors of 'fishes of texas' speak during the banquet was fantastic! Informative and entertaining.

Thanks again Wayne. I know this is a lot of work... you and your team in Texas deserve were excellent hosts.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 mdwalt1

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:59 AM

I agree that the convention was awesomely organized and managed by Wayne and his crew. Everything ran very smoothly and the presentations were all excellent. This was my first convention and I am very glad I was there.

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is a truly unique and amazing facility. My wife and 16 month old son were never bored while I attended the sessions as there is so much to see and do there. My son especially liked the dive/theater room the most because he could walk right next to the fish as they swam past. He also liked the variety of ducks in the outdoor displays and the mass of huge catfish looking at him through the glass of one of the outdoor tanks.

During the dive show in which Wayne performed, I was a little unsure where all of those extra bubbles were coming from. I assumed they were from the garÖ btw Ė the chili cookoff prior to the dive show was incredible!

One highlight for me was the Friday field trip to witness the shocking boat demonstration by Dr. Richard Ott and his crew from the TPWD. It was very informative to hear the ways that shocking is utilized to assist in management of the fishes (and plants) of not only Lake Athens, but all Texas lakes. The variety of fish collected during the demo was amazing to say the least. Specimens ranged from golden topminnows to multiple types of sunfish fingerlings to a few two-foot-long spotted gar to a 5 lb. bass (beautiful!) to a prehistoric looking 1í bowfin. Iím still amazed.

I was also fortunate to be on-hand after the shocking demo to accompany Caspar Cox and observe his technique for species collection. He employed a gentle, down-up vegetation-press technique that resulted in a very effective collection method. At one point he collected 4 separate species of fish in one swipe that included as best as I can remember a golden ear topminnow, a madtom, a bluegill fingerling and some other type of minnow I didnít have the expertise to ID not to mention many shrimp. There were two others there collecting at the banks of Lake Athens and between everyone, there were many different of species collected. Although I was not able to actually get into the water, I felt fortunate to be there to observe the experts in the field and assist where needed. I could go on and on and on, but I will leave it for the others who were there to provide their perspectives.

All in all, it was a very positive experience. I enjoyed meeting everyone in attendance and actually plan to visit the TFFC again. I am already getting psyched about the convention next year in Florida.

#5 AussiePeter

  • NANFA Member

Posted 01 October 2008 - 09:44 AM

Wayne, you did a top notch job, thanks from everyone for all of your hard work and for the massive amount of time and effort you invested in making this a great convention. You put on a great show that you can be very proud of.

Peter Unmack

#6 Casper

  • NANFA Fellow

Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:05 PM

Great job Wayne!
Very well done, unique and tasty! You had a great attitude throughout the convention.
My highlight was snorkeling with the Catfish, Buffalo and Alligator Gar.
I also enjoyed listening to how the Texas Fishes book was created over a span of many years.
My only disappointment was getting my herbs through security but not being able to baste a freshly caught Buffalo.
Thanks much Wayne. Another fine convention for our membership. We got to meet some new members too. Fine hospitality.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.