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Conservation Fisheries – Who They Are and How They Are Impacting Our Fish Populations in East Tennessee

January 25, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Join us for a look at Conservation Fisheries, a non-profit preserving the Southeast’s aquatic biodiversity, as we explore what CFI does, with some history and pictures of the hatchery and field work and fish and cooperators they work with. Our presenter, Pat Rakes is co-director of Conservation Fisheries and has been studying rare fishes since he began his master’s degree project at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1982 studying the distribution and life history of the Barrens Topminnow. This work laid the foundation for efforts that continue today. Pat and J.R. Shute founded CFI just after finishing graduate school projects and both are in awe of how it has grown since then.

Years of maintaining aquaria have led to an appreciation of the art and science (the “wet thumb”) involved in keeping fish alive and healthy (and interested in sex). The rewards of co-directing CFI have not been monetary, but rich in constant learning, studying the life history, ecology, reproductive biology, distribution, and taxonomy of rare fish in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The snorkeling that was a novel technique for monitoring rare fish 30 years ago never gets old.

This program is co-sponsored by UT Arboretum and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. The program is free but please register to receive your Zoom link. Contact Michelle Campanis for any registration issues at mcampani@utk.edu.