AFS Roots: The Founding Five

Frederick Mather in the frontispiece from his book Men I have Fished With (Mather 1897). Credit: Wikipedia.

By Brian Murphy, President Elect, American Fisheries Society

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the American Fisheries Society. President Scott Bonar’s theme for our sesquicentennial celebrations is, appropriately, “Learning from the past, meeting challenges of the present, advancing to a sustainable future.” In that spirit, this periodic series will explore some of the important people and pivotal events that have shaped our Society.

We often tend to think of past events and related persons as static and one‐dimensional. In truth, these people were dynamic beings reacting to the needs, desires, and social norms of the day. All historical events are a product of the intersection of wealth, power, politics, social norms, economics, sociology, etc. By looking back we can better understand how we got to where we are today, and perhaps we can glean wisdom that has been forgotten that will lead us on a better path in the future. To this end, this paper will look at some of the personalities and events that shaped the beginnings of what we now call the American Fisheries Society….Read more in the January 2020 issue of Fisheries