The NANFA-L list had its humble beginnings in 1996 due to the efforts of Norm Edelen and Dan Logan. After a short while, the list shifted to (run by Richard Sexton), and then to (run by NANFA) and has been tirelessly managed by Frank O'Carroll for most of this time.


NANFA's e-mail discussion list provides a forum in which to share knowledge and personal experiences concerning the native fishes of North America. Lively discussions on topics related to biology, captive care and breeding, collecting, and conservation are invited. These exchanges should be informative, entertaining, and respectful. Members are encouraged to feel a sense of community in which they can post without risking humiliation or personal attacks.

In addition, NANFA's e-mail discussion list serves as a means for NANFA to disseminate information about its programs to members and non-members alike.

NANFA's email list is available in two formats, as a regular email list (nanfa-l at or in a digest format (nanfa-l-digest). In the former, each email gets sent out as it is received, in the digest format only one message is received each day incorporating all the posts sent over the previous day.

A searchable archive of this email list is available at Before posting a question, it is recommended you try searching the archives. In many cases you will find your question has probably been answered before.

These guidelines clarify permissible and impermissible behavior in this list. The list moderators prefer to guide this discussion list with a common-sense approach that permits free and open discussion.


Accepted topics are biology, captive care and breeding, collection, and conservation of North American native fishes, as well as NANFA-related business and news items. Unacceptable topics are virus alerts, chain letters, jokes, and personal musings on politics, religion, creationism vs. evolution, and other off-topic, potentially divisive subjects.

Topics not recommended include politics and arguments about the environment, environmental legislation, endangered species laws vs. property rights, and the role(s) of individuals, states, and federal agencies in conservation efforts. Many of these topics have been discussed many times in the past on this list. All of them are almost guaranteed to generate more heat than light. News items on these topics, however, are welcome.

Although some off-topic wanderings are normal and will be tolerated if they are not excessive, here's an excellent rule of thumb: IF YOUR POST DOES NOT MAKE A RELEVANT REFERENCE TO A PARTICULAR FISH SPECIES OR GROUP OF FISHES, CHANCES ARE IT IS OFF-TOPIC.

We ask your cooperation in keeping discussions of that sort off this list.

We also request that list members minimize unnecessary posts to the list. At times list volume can be high and some members get put off by the volume of emails they receive. When you post a question to the list, please try to not answer each response individually. Instead, combine your responses into one message, or respond to each answer personally with a private email to the relevant list member. Also, it's a good netiquette to avoid single line responses such as "I agree" or "I'd also like to know the answer to that one."

Posting of copyrighted material for which the poster does not own the copyright (e.g., newspaper or magazine articles) is not allowed. If you think that the list members need to read such material, please send a brief message to the list, indicating the topic and including the URL (web address) for the material.

Any offer of a product or service for sale is considered advertising. Advertising is not allowed on the NANFA e-mail discussion list, with the exception of brief one-time announcements by nonprofit organizations of events in which they participate or new products they produce. These should be in the form of a single sentence, indicating a link to either a person or a website where additional information can be obtained.

If a list member is in doubt about the appropriateness of a proposed posting, please contact one of the Board Directors listed on NANFA's website (

If a list member is in doubt about the appropriateness of a posting which has already appeared on the list, PLEASE do not post a public comment or question about it, but PLEASE do send a message to one of the Board Directors.

BREVITY (guidelines for posting)

If you quote a previous message in your reply, PLEASE snip unneeded portions.


Posts that offer intelligent, reasoned debate in a civil tone or argue a different point of view, but are respectful of the poster and the list as a whole, are welcomed.

Posts that belittle, ridicule, attack, or insult another poster and his/her ideas are unacceptable.

List members' expertise, both in native fish topics and in the use of the Internet, varies widely. Show tolerance of posts by new list members and posts that are occasionally off-topic, poorly written, or not up to your personal standards.

Be slow to take offense to a post. You may have misjudged the poster's meaning. Tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language--especially to convey humor--are absent in this forum!

If you do take offense, allow yourself a cool-down period before you hit SEND. Even then, consider sending your message privately rather than to the list.

It is expected that members of the NANFA email list will use a meaningful and consistent signature at the end of each message they send to the list. Just as in any social setting, people enjoy meeting and getting to know one another and are inclined to be unresponsive or hostile toward people who refuse to exercise common courtesy and identify themselves. Last names are encouraged, but not required. A short signature including your name, state, and drainage basin at the end of your email will foster a sense of community and can help forge contacts with others from your area.


Although the NANFA list is unmoderated, the Board of Directors will monitor the content to make sure posts adhere to the guidelines listed above, and adhere to the Mission and Code of Ethics of the organization. If, in the judgment of the Board, a post or series of posts does not adhere to these guidelines, a request will be made to stop the thread and to cease all such posts. Anyone who continues the thread, or continues to post inappropriate material after being asked not to do so, will be subject to removal from the list.