Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project


Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes

September 2004 - October 2022


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes - an AFS book project lead by Cooperative Research Unit scientists for the American Fisheries Society resulting in standardization of sampling methods for North American freshwaters.

Standardization in industry, medicine and science has led to great advances. However, despite its benefits, freshwater fish sampling was generally unstandardized, or at most standardized locally. Standardization across large regions allows for measurement of large-scale effects of climate or geography on fish populations; larger sample sizes to evaluate management techniques, reliable means to document rare species; easier communication; and simpler data sharing. With increased interaction among fisheries professionals worldwide, reasons for wide-scale standardization were more compelling than ever. The Fish Management Section of the American Fisheries Society in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, USGS Cooperative Research Units Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, AFS Education and Computer User’s Sections, and Arizona Game and Fish Department developed standard sampling methods for North America. This was the largest such project in the history of fisheries science. Almost 50 United States, Canadian and Mexican fish sampling experts authored a book on the subject. These methods were reviewed by 54 representatives from 33 North American agencies and by biologists from six European and one African country. Final drafts were reviewed by an additional 36 sampling experts. In total 284 biologists from 107 agencies and organizations contributed as authors, reviewers, data providers and sponsors. Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes, was published in 2009, and described standard methods to sample fish in specific environments so population indices can be more easily compared across regions and time. Environments include ponds, reservoirs, natural lakes, streams and rivers containing cold and warmwater fishes. This book provides rangewide and regional averages; calculated from over 4000 data sets from 42 states and provinces; of size structure, CPUE, growth, and condition for common fishes collected using methods discussed. Biologists can use these data to determine if fish from their waterbody are below, above, or at average for an index. These procedures will be useful to those hoping to benefit from standard sampling programs in their regions. Since publication, these methods are being increasingly adopted across North America. Three symposiums at the North American meeting of the American Fisheries Society have been held; and numerous presentations on the techniques throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada have been given. Furthermore, keynotes have also been invited and presented in the United Kingdom, South Korea and the Czech Republic discussing the techniques. Publications concerning this work since 2016 have been published in Fisheries, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, and Freshwater, Fish and the Future: Proceedings of the Global Cross-Sectoral Conference at FAO, United Nations, Rome. Now a 2nd edition is underway with unanimous support from the Fisheries Management Section of the American Fisheries Society, and funding from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Currently design and writing of the book is underway and publication date is slated at 2021-2022.

Research Publications Publication Date
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert, D. W. Willis. 2009. Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 459 pp. 2009-08-31
Bonar, S. A., S. Contreras-Balderas, and A. C. Iles. 2009. An Introduction to Standardized Sampling. In S. A. Bonar, W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis, Editors. Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 20 pp. 2009-08-31
Bonar, S. A., and W. A. Hubert. 2002. Standard sampling of inland fish: benefits, challenges, and a call for action. Fisheries 27(3):10-16. 2002-03-31
Bonar, S. A., and A. Didenko. 2003. Standard sampling of desert fish: benefits, recent progress, and a call for action. Proceedings of the Desert Fishes Council 34th Annual Meeting, San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico 2003-08-31
Bonar, S. A., S. Contreras-Balderas, and A. C. Iles. 2009. An Introduction to Standardized Sampling. In S. A. Bonar, W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis, Editors. Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 20 pp. 2009-08-31
Brouder, M., A. C. Iles, and S. A. Bonar. 2009. North American averages of length frequency, condition, growth, and catch per effort. In S. A. Bonar, W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis, Editors. Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 64 pp. 2009-08-31
Presentations Presentation Date
Bonar, S. A. 2009. Symposium Organizer. Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. Annual Meeting of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society. May 3-7, 2009, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 2009-05-03
Bonar, S. A. 2009. Symposium Organizer. Standard Methods to Sample North American Freshwater Fishes. 139th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Nashville, Tennessee. August 30 - September 3, 2009. 2009-08-30
Bonar, S. A. 2012. Recent Advances and an Overview of North American AFS Freshwater Fish Sampling Standardization. 142nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, August 19-23, 2012. 2012-08-19
Bonar, S. A. 2012. Recent advances and an overview of North American freshwater fish sampling standardization. 6th World Fisheries Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland, 7th - 11th May 2012. 2012-05-07
Bonar, S. A. 2014. Comparing Standard Fish Data using a Web-Accessible Database. Western Warmwater Fisheries Meeting, July 15-16, Spokane Washington. 2014-07-16
Bonar, S. A. and nine coauthors. 2016. Standard Methods for Sampling Freshwater Fishes: Opportunities for International Collaboration. World Fisheries Congress, Busan, Korea, May 23-27. Keynote Address Author(s) 1. Scott A Bonar , U.S. Geological Survey Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit , 104 Biological Sciences East, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA sbonar@ag.arizona.edu 2. Norman Mercado-Silva , Centro de Investigacion en Biodiversidad y Conservacion , Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos; Cuernavaca, Morelos, México normanmercado@yahoo.com 3. Wayne A Hubert , Department of Zoology and Physiology , University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071, USA whubert@uwyo.edu 4. T. Douglas Beard , U. S. Geological Survey, National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center , Reston, Virginia, USA dbeard@usgs.gov 5. Goran Dave , Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences , Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden goran.dave@bioenv.gu.se 6. Jan Kubecka , Institute of Hydrobiology , Biology Centre České Budějovice, Czech Republic kubecka@hbu.cas.cz 7. Brian D.S. Graeb , South Dakota State University , Natural Resource Management, Box 2140B, Brookings, South Dakota, 57007, USA brian.graeb@sdstate.edu 8. Nigel Lester , Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources , Peterborough, Ontario, Canada nigel.lester@ontario.ca 9. Mark Porath , Nebraska Game and Parks , 2200 N 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68503, USA Mark.Porath@nebraska.gov 10. Ian Winfield , Lake Ecosystems Group, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology , Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4AP,UK ijw@ceh.ac.uk 2016-05-23
Bonar, S. A. and nine coauthors. 2016. Standard Methods for Sampling Freshwater Fishes: Opportunities for International Collaboration. World Fisheries Congress, Busan, Korea, May 23-27. Keynote Address 2016-05-24
Bonar, S. A., 2008. Symposium. (Organizer) Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. 138th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Ottawa, Ontario August 17-21. 2008-08-20
Bonar, S. A., D. Willis, and W. Hubert. 2005. Standard sampling methods for North American freshwater fishes. 135th American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, September 11-15 2005-09-15
Bonar, S. A., M. Brouder, and A. Iles. 2009. Aggregating disparate fish data sets: challenges, techniques and a bit of social psychology. 139th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Nashville, Tennessee. August 30 - September 3, 2009 2009-09-01
Bonar, S. A., M. Rahr, T. Torrey, A. Cate Jr., and N. Mercado Silva, 2012. Comparing Standard North American Freshwater Fish Data Using a Web-Accessible Database. 142nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, August 19-23, 2012. 2012-08-20
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert and N. Mercado-Silva. 2016. An Overview of North American AFS Freshwater Fish Sampling Standardization. World Fisheries Congress, Busan, Korea, May 23-27. 2016-05-23
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert and N. Mercado-Silva. 2016. An Overview of North American AFS Freshwater Fish Sampling Standardization. World Fisheries Congress, Busan, Korea, May 23-27. 2016-05-24
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis. 2008. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. 138th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Ottawa, Ontario August 17-21. CONTRIBUTED. Introductory presentation of Standard methods for sampling North American Freshwater Fishes symposium. 2008-08-20
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis. 2008. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. Western Division of the American Fisheries Society, Portland, Oregon. May 5-7, 2008. CONTRIBUTED. 2008-05-05
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis. 2009. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. 139th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Nashville, Tennessee. August 30 - September 3, 2009. 2009-08-30
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert, and D. W. Willis. 2009. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. Annual Meeting of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society. Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 3-7, 2009. 2009-05-03
Bonar, S. A., W. A. Hubert, and N. Mercado Silva, 2015. An Overview of North American AFS Freshwater Fish Sampling Standardization. 145th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Portland Oregon, August 16-20, 2015. 2015-08-19
Bonar, S., W. Hubert, and D. Willis. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. Annual Meeting, Western Division, American Fisheries Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 2009-05-05
Bonar, S.A. 2010. Advances in fish sampling: An overview of techniques and standardization. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Desert Fishes Council, Moab, Utah, Novermber 17-21, 2010 2010-11-18
Bonar, S. A., D. Willis, and W. Hubert. 2005. Standard sampling methods for North American freshwater fishes. 135th American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, September 11-15 2005-09-15
Bonar, S.A. 2010. Case Histories of standard sampling in North America. Keynote Address to Conference Fish Sampling with Active Methods, September 8-11, 2010, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic 2010-09-09
Bonar, S.A. 2011. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. An overview for European Fisheries Standards Committee (CEN), British Standards Institute, London, United Kingdom, March 16, 2011. 2011-03-16
Bonar, S.A. 2013. http://fisheriesstandardsampling.org :A simple web-based tool to analyze standard fish data with a click of a button. 46th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society. Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 7-9, 2013. CONTRIBUTED. 2013-02-07
Bonar, S.A. 2015. How standard fish sampling methods help improve biological assessment across political boundaries. Global Conference on Inland Fisheries, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, January 26-28, 2015. Presentation and Scientific Panel Member. Invited Presentation. 2015-01-27
Bonar, S.A., Alison Iles, D.W. Willis and W.A. Hubert 2006. Standard Sampling Methods for North American Freshwater Fishes. Presented to the Arizona-New Mexico Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Flagstaff, Arizona. February 2-4. CONTRIBUTED. 2006-02-03
Bonar, S.A., W. Hubert, D. Willis, M. Brouder and A. Iles. 2005. Standard sampling methods for North American freshwater fishes: Averages and standards for commonly used fisheries indices. Desert Fishes Council. Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico, November 16-20, 2005. CONTRIBUTED. 2005-11-18
Bonar, S.A., W.A. Hubert, and D.W. Willis. 2007. Standard methods to sample inland fishes of North America. Progress report. Fisheries Management Section, American Fisheries Society 137th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California. September 2-6, 2007. INVITED. 2007-09-02
Bonar, S.A., W.A. Hubert, and D.W. Willis. 2007. Standard methods to sample inland fishes of North America. Progress report. Education Section, American Fisheries Society 137th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California. September 2-6, 2007. INVITED. 2007-09-02
Bonar, S.A., W.A. Hubert, and D.W. Willis. 2008. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. Arizona/New Mexico Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Prescott, Arizona. February 7-9, 2008. CONTRIBUTED. 2008-02-07