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Canadian Conference For Fisheries Research

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History of CCFFR


J. Murray Speirs and E. W. Burridge, 1973

(with a cumulative Appendix by later Secretaries-Treasurer of CCFFR and history of the Clemens-Rigler Travel Award


The Canadian Committee on Freshwater Fisheries Research was formed to take over some of the functions of the National committee on Fish Culture. This latter was a joint committee of the National Research Council and the Biological Board of Canada (renamed the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in 1938). The National Committee on Fish Culture held its first meeting in Ottawa on January 4, 1937, with 33 in attendance. It was formed to act as a clearing house for information on fish culture and to promote research and technology as applied to fish culture. It also had a function as a grant selection committee. This forerunner of the CCFFR held ten annual meetings and disbanded after its tenth meeting on January 2, 1947. "Confidential" proceedings were issued by the joint sponsors of these ten annual meetings, outlining the business discussed and containing a number of appendices summarizing researches sponsored by the committee.

Beginning of the CCFFR:
The first meeting of the CCFFR, sponsored by NRC, was held in Ottawa on January 6, 1948, with W. A. Clemens in the chair and H. Williamson acting as secretary. The terms of reference suggested that the CCFFR "act as a clearing house for information and as a forum for discussion of common problems, to promote the coordination of research and technique, to consider what researches ought to be undertaken and to recommend accordingly, to give advice on the granting of funds for specific researches when such advice is requested and to advise on the dissemination of information". A good deal of the first meeting was given over to a discussion of sponsors, grants, publications, membership, time and place of meetings, and programme. It was agreed that the Fisheries Research Board of Canada be asked to sponsor the meetings and that such meetings would be held at the time and place of the board's annual meetings.

It was felt that such a large committee (23 were present) was too unwieldy to deal with grant applications and a subcommittee was suggested to look after this matter. It was named the Associate Committee on Freshwater Fisheries Research of the National Research Council. After two years of operation this was renamed the Associate Committee on Research on Aquatic Biology, which disbanded after functioning through 1956.

The "Proceedings" of the 1948 CCFFR meeting included several appendices reporting on research work sponsored by the National Committee on Fish Culture, but there is no mention that these were reported verbally at the meeting. This organizational meeting, then, was a transition between the grant-oriented National Committee on Fish Culture and the "scientific meeting" type of activity that has dominated the subsequent proceedings of the CCFFR.

The Ottawa Period:
The CCFFR held annual one-day meetings at Ottawa, sponsored by the Fisheries Research Board (FRB) and held at the time of the FRB annual meetings, from its inception in 1948 until 1967. These annual gatherings met a need by bringing together fisheries scientists from government and universities. However, the excellent papers presented were frequently heard by rather small audiences. It was concluded from discussions at a business meeting in 1967 that the length of the meeting (one day) and the fixed location (Ottawa) were two factors that may have kept the attendance down.

Recent Changes:
It was therefore agreed to consider introducing a number of changes to the original meeting procedures. The annual meetings were extended from one to two days and meetings were alternated between Ottawa and other centres. One session each year was given over to contributed papers.

These changes have resulted in a dramatic and gratifying increase in attendance. This has also resulted in an increase in the expense of convening the meetings so that a fee of $1.00 was instituted in 1964 and increased to $2.00 for registrants in 1972. At the 1973 meeting, the name of the organization was changed to the Canadian Conference on Freshwater Fisheries Research and the title of Chairman was changed to President. The conference continued to act as a forum for the discussion of problems related to freshwater fisheries research, as set forth in its original terms of reference.

The authors wish to thank F. E. J. Fry, J. C. Stevenson, and H. Williamson, who have read the original manuscript and made helpful suggestions.


Updated 1998, based on notes by J. Watson, N. Boyce, H. Powles

In 1973, in recognition of the content of programs and interest of attendees in all aspects of fisheries research, freshwater and marine, CCFFR was changed to represent Canadian Conference For Fisheries Research (Conférence canadienne pour la recherche sur les pêches, CCRP).

The Canadian Society for Environmental Biologists (CSEB) requested to meet with CCFFR and have its one-day meeting follow on from CCFFR's two days. This was operational from 1976 to 1989, when CSEB again decided to meet independently of CCFFR.

The Canadian Society for Limnology also requested to meet with CCFFR and such an arrangement has been in effect since 1979. A joint CCFFR/SCL banquet was instituted in 1989.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which had long supported CCFFR through provision of administrative and secretarial support, committed in 1988 to providing a Secretary-Treasurer on a continuing basis.

The Clemens Fund (later Clemens Rigler Travel Fund) in support of graduate student participation in CCFFR (and later SCL) has long been an important part of these annual meetings. A brief history of the CRTF was prepared for the 50th Anniversary Meeting of CCFFR in 1997 and is appended to this summary.

In 1990 changes were instituted to the venue of the CCFFR meeting. Ottawa no longer was required to be the absolute venue in alternate years; other central locations could be selected.

Registration fees were increased to $15.00 for students and $30.00 for non-students at the 1993 meeting, and to $20.00 and $40.00 respectively at the 1995 meeting (particularly to allow for a contribution to the Clemens Rigler Fund).

At the 1996 meeting it was decided to increase registration fees by $5 for those registering at the meeting over the fee charged to those pre-registering.

CCFFR celebrated its 50th anniversary at the 1997 Conference in Ottawa with an excellent program and a record turnout of 230-odd.

A World Wide Web site was created for the 1997 meeting and a project to maintain a permanent web site is being undertaken from 1998.

History of the Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund:
In a document prepared by Murray Spiers and Ed Burridge in 1973 (and updated by later secretaries of CCFFR) it was suggested that the history of the Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund be recorded.

While Chairman at the 1972 CCFFR meeting, Jean-Paul Cuerrier, formerly at Canadian Wildlife Service, suggested that a fund be created in order to facilitate the attendance at future CCFFR meetings by graduate students in the fisheries field. The idea was approved by the 1972 meeting and J.P Cuerrier was asked to chair a Committee to examine the possibilities of raising funds for this purpose.

The Committee was successful in raising $1,150 the first year, made up of $650 from the Canadian National Sportsmens' Show thanks to W. B. Scott and of $500 from the Canadian Sport Fishing Institute thanks to J. P. Cuerrier. The fund was named in 1973 in honour of Dr. W. A. Clemens who had chaired the first two CCFFR meetings. From 1973 to 1976 inclusively, the Fund operated with an annual budget not exceeding $3710. During this period, under Cuerrier's management, it was understood the Travel Fund would pay one half of a graduate student's travel expenses provided that the professor supervising the student's graduate work would pay the other half of the travelling expenses.

Due to a lack of donations, the Clemens Travel Fund did not operate in 1977. In 1978, the Fisheries Research Board revived the Fund with an annual grant of $5,000. The sharing obligation was discontinued. In 1984 the Canadian Wildlife Federation added a contribution of $5,000 and later decided to manage the Fund. Annual contributions by CWF and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans rose to $12,000. In 1987 the Society of Canadian Limnologists began contributing to and benefitting from the Fund, and the name was changed to Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund.

After the 1994 meetings, funding and management by CWF was discontinued. The Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of American Fisheries Society offered to take on management of the Fund. As when CWF was managing the Fund, donations to the fund are matched up to a maximum of $6,000 by DFO. In 1995 and 1996 the Fund disposed of only $4,600 made up of contributions from CCFFR, SCL, CARS and DFO. For 1997 the amount has been increased thanks to donations from the Northeast Division of the American Fisheries Society and Hoskin Scientific Limited.

During the past 24 years, the number of fishery students who received financial assistance to attend the CCFFR meetings rose from 11 in the first year to 37 in January 1997 (Ottawa). Funding rose from $1,150 available the first year to a maximum of $13,000 in 1994.

Let's wish long life to the Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund. We are pleased to recognise the two members who contributed to the birth of the Fund, J. P. Cuerrier and W. B. Scott.

V. E. F. Solman and Howard Powles
CCFFR 50th Anniversary Meeting
January 3, 1997

Historique de la Caisse de voyage Clemens-Rigler
Dans un document redigé en 1973 par Murray Spiers et Ed Burridge (et mis à jour par les Secrétaires subséquents de la CCRP) on propose que l'historique de la Caisse de voyage Clemens-Rigler soit écrit.

Le Président de la CCRP en 1972, Jean-Paul Cuerrier (anciennement du Service canadien de la faune), a proposé qu'une caisse soit créée pour faciliter la participation d'étudiants gradués dans le domaine des pêches aux CCRP futures. L'idée a été approuvée par la réunion de 1972 et on a demandé à J.-P. Cuerrier de présider un Comité pour examiner les possibilités de levées de fonds.

Le Comité a réussi à mettre en place un montant de $1,150 la première année, dont $650 contribué par le Canadian National Sportsmens' Show grâce à W. B. Scott et $500 contribué par l'Institut canadien des pêches sportives grâce à J.-P. Cuerrier. Le nom de la Caisse a été choisi en 1973 en l'honneur du Dr. W. A. Clemens qui avait présidé les deux premières réunions de la CCRP. Entre 1973 et 1976 la Caisse a disposé d'un budget annuel d'au plus $3,710. Pendant cette période sous la gestion de Cuerrier il a été entendu que la Caisse de voyage défrayerait la moitié des dépenses de voyage d'un étudiant en autant que le professeur supervisant les études graduées de l'étudiant payait l'autre moitié.

La Caisse de voyage Clemens n'a pas fonctionné en 1977 faute de subventions. En 1978 l'Office de la recherche sur les pêches a ressuscité la Caisse avec une subvention annuelle de $5,000. L'obligation de partager les frais a été levée. En 1984 la Fédération canadienne de la faune a ajouté une contribution de $5,000 et plus tard la FCF s'est offert pour s'occuper de la gestion de la Caisse. Les contributions annuelles de la FFC et du Ministère des Pêches et des Océans ont atteint $12,000. En 1987 la Société des limnologistes canadiens a commencé à contribuer à la Caisse et à en bénéficier, et le nom a été changé à Caisse de voyage Clemens-Rigler.

En 1994 la FFC a dû mettre fin à son financement et à sa gestion de la Caisse. La Section des ressources aquatiques canadiennes de la American Fisheries Society a offert de prendre la gestion de la Caisse. Comme auparavant le MPO contribue un montant équivalent aux dons provenant d'autres sources jusqu'à un maximum de $6,000. En 1995 et 1996 la Caisse n'a disposé que de $4,600 grâce à des contributions de la CCRP, de la SCL, de la SRAC et du MPO. Pour 1997 le montant total a été augmenté grâce à des contributions supplémentaires provenant de la Division nord-est de la American Fisheries Society et de la Société Hoskin Scientifique ltée.

Pendant les 24 ans d'existence de la Caisse le nombre d'étudiants en pêches et limnologie qui en ont bénéficié a augmenté de 11 la première année jusqu'à 37 en janvier 1997 (Ottawa). Le financement total a augmenté de $1,150 la première année jusqu'à un maximum de $13,000 en 1994,

Souhaitons longue vie à la Caisse de voyage Clemens-Rigler. Nous sommes heureux de reconnaître les deux membres qui ont contribué au démarrage de la Caisse, J.-P. Cuerrier et W. B. Scott

V. E. F. Solman and Howard Powles 50e Anniversaire de la CCRP le 3 janvier 1997