2005 NANFA National Convention Little Rock, Arkansas - June 9 - 12

Once again, NANFA is providing the utmost in travel opportunities! Come learn about and see some of Arkansas' 200-plus native fishes, meet other native fish enthusiasts, and help support your NANFA. If you have never attended a NANFA convention before, now is the time to start.

This June you can count on:

Diverse Field Trips

Arkansas has five major ecoregions, each with its own characteristic habitats and fauna. We're planning trips to the Ozarks, Ouachitas, Gulf Coastal Plain, Mississippi Delta, and the Arkansas River Valley. If you're up for it, we may even make a foray to Crowley's Ridge, an island of typically Ozarkian species surrounded by the Delta. Pull on your boots; grab your nets & buckets; and COME ON DOWN!

  1. Ozarks: This trip will go to the eastern Ozarks, including the very diverse Strawberry River system. Expect to see many species, such as Ozark chub, whitetail shiner, wedgespot shiner, bleeding shiner, Ozark madtom, shadow bass, Arkansas saddled darter, and many others -- one site recently yielded 50 species!
  2. Ouachitas: This trip will be primarily on the Ouachita National Forest and led by a Forest Service biologist. Possible species include rosyface shiner, redfin shiner, steelcolor shiner, freckled madtom, creole darter, orangebelly darter, redspotted darter, and many others!
  3. Delta: This trip will visit the lowland habitats of southeast Arkansas, and include a bonus visit to the Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center. On this trip you might see tadpole madtom, bowfin, gar, ironcolor shiner, pirate perch, flier, redspotted sunfish, banded pygmy sunfish, slough darter, cypress darter, and many others!
  4. Coastal Plain: This trip will focus on the Saline River drainage of south-central Arkansas, sampling a small number of sites, so you probably don't want to go ... Oh, did I mention that one of the sites recently yielded 70 species, including 21 different darters? Some personal favorites you might see on this trip are pugnose minnow, blacktail shiner, mountain madtom, brindled madtom, dollar sunfish, redspotted sunfish, banded sunfish, scaly sand darter, mud darter, creole darter, harlequin darter, speckled darter, saddleback darter, dusky darter, and stargazing darter.
  5. Arkansas River Valley: Probably the first trip to get their boots wet, this one will venture northwest up the Arkansas River Valley. Be aware that the mainstream of the Arkansas River has zebra mussels -- make sure your gear does not spread them to the tributaries. On this trip you might see brindled madtom, freckled madtom, golden topminnow, banded pygmy sunfish, orangespotted sunfish, dollar sunfish, bantam sunfish, redfin darter, cypress darter, channel darter, dusky darter, blackside darter, and many others!

Convention T-Shirts

The 2005 NANFA Convention T-shirts are now available. M, L and XL are all $20 each. XXL and XXXL are $22.50. Shipping is $5 per order no matter how many shirts you buy. T-shirt checks should be made payable to NANFA and mailed to Casper Cox, 1200 B. Dodds Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37404. T-Shirt images: Back, Front (Available in natural soft buff color only)

Order T-Shirts Online


Since we plan to have an Arkansas Game & Fish Commission employee at each of the convention trips, it will NOT be necessary to have each person buy a fishing license. We're treating it like a "class" collecting under the auspices of the AGFC employee, who is not required to have a special permit for scientific collection. Of course, if you plan to collect on you own too, you'll need a license.

A variety of non-resident license options are available at local sporting goods departments OR online at:


Non-Resident Annual Fishing License$32.00
Non-Resident 14 Day Trip Fishing License$22.00
Non-Resident 7 Day Trip Fishing License$17.00
Non-Resident 3 Day Trip Fishing License$11.00

We'll draw up some sort of letter for you to carry when transporting fish so there will be no question.

Interesting Presentations
A slate of nine interesting talks should keep you well entertained and educated during the day on Saturday, June 11.

  • Paddlefish Culture -- Steve Mims, Kentucky State University
  • Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center -- Wayne Heaton, Texas Parks & Wildlife
  • USFWS Native Fish Restoration Efforts -- Ricky Campbell, US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Common Diseases of Native Fish -- Andy Goodwin, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • Bayou Bartholomew Restoration -- Bill Layher, Layher Biologics RTEC, Inc.
  • Cavefishes -- Mike Slay, The Nature Conservancy
  • Native Fish of Puerto Rico -- Wes Neal, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • Lamprey Relationships -- Nick Lang, St. Louis Universitiy
  • Grotto Sculpin -- Ginny Adams, University of Central Arkansa

Fun Banquet
What better place to have a banquet than a brewery? We plan to be tucked in among the boiling pots, fermenters, and aging tanks of the Diamond Bear Brewing Company - home of 2 medal-winning beers at last year's World Beer Cup! The taps will be flowing for the evening with beer and root beer enough for all. They say we have to provide food, so I guess we'll eat, too! And while we're at it, let's add a great speaker to warm us up for the...

Auction to Raise Funds for NANFA
That's right, grab another beer and get ready to bid generously on some great stuff, and help NANFA out in the process. By the way, this is our auction, so if you can come up with items to donate, contact Joe Johnson (email address below) and let him know to expect your generous contribution! We have donations from several sources already, including some NANFA members and Pet Industry Manufacturers.
Loucas Raptis gave 2 sets of limited ed. prints (viewable online).
Fin City Pet Supplies donated a 29 Gallon Combo (tank, lid, light, stand) and two framed editions of "Fishing Facts" circa Nov 72 & Sep 73 with cover art by Wiley Miller.
Wayne Heaton is donating several items from the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (Tickets and Passes).
More donations are in the works -- come see and bid!

The registration fee is $65 if received by May 9, $75 at the door. Student and spouse registration is $30 ($35 at door). Registration checks should be made payable to NANFA and mailed to Brian Wagner, 7307 Highland Drive, Mabelvale, AR 72103.

Luxurious Accommodations
Fine facilities are awaiting you at the Little Rock Airport Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Rooms at the Holiday Inn, where our meeting activities will be based, are available for $72.00/night at (501) 490-1000. Rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, an easy walk across the parking lot, are available for $58.00/night at (501) 490-4000. Either way, tell them you're with NANFA. Be sure to come by the Hospitality Suite to sign in or just visit throughout the convention - we get the use of this suite free IF our members rent enough rooms at these hotels!

Easy Travel Access
Arkansas is in the middle of the country, and Little Rock is in the middle of Arkansas - You can definitely get there from here! Little Rock National Airport provides a variety of airlines and is less than a 5-minute ride from the hotels. The hotels and airport are on the east side of Little Rock on I-440, which is a bypass joining I-40 to Memphis, TN with I-30 to Dallas, TX.

General: Brian Wagner,
Program: April Layher,
Banquet: Mark Oliver,
Auction: Joe Johnson,