AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY
This procedural manual is intended to provide an efficient change of Chapter leadership from one year to the next by outlining responsibilities and suggested deadlines for officers and committees. Historically, this information has been passed down by “word of mouth” from one set of officers to the next, but details and unwritten policy frequently gets “lost in the cracks.”
While the manual provides guidance, it should remain flexible to allow creativity and originality within each office or committee. In fact, each officer and committee chair person should review their section ‘,of the manual each year and make changes that can improve the performance of their office or committee.
This manual is also intended to give all members a better idea of how the Chapter operates and to summarize the responsibilities of each .office and committee. Members are always strongly encouraged to volunteer for committees and get involved with the Chapter. If a member has an idea for a new committee or a new project, members will always be encouraged to bring their ideas before the membership or the Executive Committee.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purposes & Goals (Mission Statement) . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Bylaws of the Potomac Chapter ………………. 4
Section 1, Name & Objectives ………………. 4
Section 2, Membership & Dues ……………… 5
Section 3, Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 5
Section 4, Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Section 5, Duties of Officers ……………….. 6
Section 6, Executive Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Section 7, Chapter Committees ……………… 7·
Section 8, Chapter Awards ………………… 7
Section 9, Voting and Quorum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Section 10, Registration ………………….. 8
Section 11, Amendments of the By-Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Officer Duties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Standing and Special Committees …………….. 12
Committees Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14
Executive …………………………. 15
Nominating ………………………… 16
Awards ….. … . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 18
PURPOSES & GOALS
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AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY
Section 1: NAME AND OBJECTIVES
The name of this organization shall be the Potomac Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and hereinafter referred to as the Chapter. The objectives of the Chapter, in addition to those of the American
Fisheries Society as set forth in article I of the Constitution, shall be to further strengthen the Society and the Nation’s aquatic resources by:
(1) Improving the Society’s visibility to Congress, and to government
and private agencies which administer aquatic resource programs;
(2) Providing a forum for the discussion, debate, and resolution of
regional aquatic resource problems and issues;
(3) Providing a focal point through which Federal, State, and private
aquatic resource agencies might promote cooperation,
understanding, and professionalism;
(4) Providing a forum for the dissemination of fishery knowledge to
fellow workers, national leaders, and other interested groups;
(5) Increasing the American Fisheries Society’s contribution to the
local, state and national decision-making process; and
(6) Expanding educational and on-the-job training opportunities for
American Fisheries Society members.
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Section 2: MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
The membership of the Chapter shall be composed of those American Fisheries Society members in good standing residing in Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, and Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties of West Virginia who are listed on the Chapter membership roll by virtue of having paid established Chapter dues.
Annual dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee, membership is on a calendar-year basis. Delinquent members shall be dropped from the Chapter membership roll and shall relinquish their Chapter voting privileges.
Section 3: MEETINGS
The Chapter shall hold at least one (I) meeting annually at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee or its officially delegated alternate committee. The program and presentation of papers shall be the responsibility of the Program committee.
Section 4: OFFICERS
The officers of the Chapter shall consist of a President, President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. In case of a vacated office, the Executive Committee shall appoint a qualified replacement to fill the unexpired term. The
term for each office shall be one (I) year. Officers shall be announced at the Chapter annual meeting and installed concurrently with the installation of officers by the American Fisheries Society.
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Section 5: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
(1 ) The President of the Chapter shall preside at all meetings; shall chair the
Executive Committee; shall represent the Chapter at appropriate Division
and Parent Society functions; and shall make such appointments and
perform other duties and functions as are authorized and deemed
(2) The President-Elect shall chair the Program committee; and shall assume
the duties and functions of the President in the event of the inability of
the President to act.
(3) The Secretary shall keep the official records of the Chapter; shall prepare
official correspondence as directed by the President: shall be responsible
for maintaining an up-to-date list of Chapter members; shall record and
transcribe the proceedings of official Chapter meetings; shall submit
minutes of the annual meeting to the Executive Director of the American
Fisheries Society and to the Secretary of the Southern Division within
30 days after the annual meeting; and shall perform other duties as
appropriate to the office as may be requested by the President.
(4) The Treasurer shall collect and be custodian of registration fees collected
under Section 10 of these By-Laws; shall collect and be custodian of
Chapter dues collected under Section 2 of these By-Laws; shall disburse
Chapter funds as authorized and necessary; shall present an interim
financial report at the annual meeting; and shall prepare a final record of
receipts and disbursements within 45 days after the annual meeting to
be presented to the Executive Committee.
(5) The immediate Past President shall chair the Awards Committee.
Section 6: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee of the Chapter shall consist of the elected
officers and the immediate Past President. The Committee is authorized to act
in behalf of the Chapter between Chapter meetings and to perform appropriate
duties and functions.
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Section 7: CHAPTER COMMITTEES
Standing Committees of the Chapter shall be: (1) Program Committee,
(2) Executive Committee, (3) Nominating Committee, and (4) Awards
Committee. Other committees and chairs of such may be appointed by the
President as may be necessary for the conduct of Chapter activities.
The terms of office for members of Chapter committees shall terminate
at the next annual meeting, or, for ad hoc committees, upon the discharge of
the duties for which the committee was established.
Section 8: CHAPTER AWARDS
The Chapter awards program shall be as follows:
(1 ) Past President – A plaque shall be awarded to the Chapter m~mber who
has completed a term as Chapter President.
(2) Honorary Member – A member of the American Fisheries Society living
within the geographical area of the Potomac Chapter who has been
made a Honorary Member of the Parent Society shall be recognized as
a Chapter Honorary Member and future Chapter dues waived.
(3) Membership – The Chapter member responsible over a one year period
for the most new memberships in the Chapter shall be awarded a
tangible token selected by the Awards Committee.
(4) Chapter Service – The Chapter member who has provided an outstanding
service or long-term meritorious service to the Chapter may be awarded
a certificate of appreciation.
(5) Distinguished Professional Service – The Chapter member who has
demonstrated an outstanding achievement or distinguished service in (a)
scientific research related to fisheries, (b) fishery management at the
field level, (c) fishery administration, or (d) fishery legislation may be
awarded · a tangible token selected by the Awards Committee.
Potomac Chapter Procedural Manual Page 1 Section 9: VOTING AND QUORUM
Official decisions rendered at Chapter meetings shall be made in
accordance with Article IV, Paragraph 4, of the Constitution of the American
A quorum at any meeting for the transaction of official Chapter business
shall consist of twenty (2) members in good standing.
The election of officers shall be by mail ballot by those members in good
standing. The procedure for the conduct of the mail ballot shall be determined
by the Executive Committee.
Section 10: REGISTRATION
The Executive Committee may assess each registrant attending annual
meetings of the Chapter a registration fee necessary to cover the cost of the
meeting and related Chapter activities which Chapter dues alone cannot
accommodate. Collections and disbursements shall be made by the Treasurer
who will provide the Executive Committee an approved record of Chapter
financial transactions made during the Treasurer’s term of office, including
those during the most recent annual meeting, before concluding the term of
Section 11: AMENDMENTS OF THE BY-LAWS
The Chapter By-Laws may be amended and approved in accordance with
Article VI, Paragraph 3, of the Constitution of the American Fisheries Society,
and by Section 9 of these By-Laws.
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1. Oversees all aspects of Chapter function.
2. Oversees and makes sure plans for the annual meeting are on target.
3. Presides at the annual Chapter business meeting, and:
a. Prints an agenda and adheres to the time frame
b. Is familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order and Chapter By-Laws
c. Introduces special guests
d. Ceremoniously installs new Treasurer, Secretary and President
4. Chairs the Chapter Executive Committee (EXCOM), maintains frequent
contact with all officers and committee chairs, and seeks- advice- as
5. Selects all committee chairs by the annual meeting and has committees
filled out within one month of the annual meeting. Committees should
be representative of the diverse Chapter membership.
6. Maintains frequent contact with committee chairs and ensures that brief
reports are filed with the newsletter editor.
7. Oversees fundraising activities and membership recruitment.
8. Maintains communication with other nearby Chapters, the Southern
Division and the Parent Society on chapter functions/progress.
9. Attends the mid-year and/or annual Southern Division EXCOM meeting
as a voting member. Appoints a qualified voter proxy stand-in for the
Chapter if he/she cannot attend.
10. Prepares and presents a semi-annual and an annual report of Chapter
activities to be presented at both of the aforementioned meetings.
11 . Attends the annual AFS meeting as a non-voting member of the Society
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1 . Coordinates all aspects of the annual meeting program as chair of the
Program Committee. Works closely with other program chairs in the
event of a joint Chapter meeting. Runs the technical sessions of the
2. Assumes duties of the President if that officer is unable to complete the
3. Invites members of other Chapters to attend annual meeting, as well as
representatives from the Southern Division and Parent Society.
4. Serves as a voting member of the Chapter’s Executive Committee.
1 . Prepares and distributes minutes of all Chapter meetings to the
President. Sends minutes of the annual meeting to the Executive
Director of AFS and President of the Southern Division within 30 days
of the annual meeting.
2. Prepares correspondence as directed by the President.
3. Maintains up-to-date membership list of Chapter members.
4. Serves as a voting member of the Chapter Executive Committee.
5. Informs the Executive Director, the Division President, and appropriate
Society staff of changes in officers, dates and locations of meetings and
other necessary information.
6. Acts as By-law consultant and parliamentarian at the annual and other
Chapter meetings. Forwards any proposed bylaw changes to the
Executive Director for review by the AFS Constitutional Consultant prior
to presentation of changes to the Society’s Executive Committee for
approval. Circulates sign-up list for attendees and retains in Chapter
7. Orders a Past-President certificate from the Manager of Subunit Services
(AFS staff) to be presented as the first order of new business at the
annual Chapter meeting.
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8. Maintains letterhead and other supplies necessary for Chapter function.
9. Maintains historical records of all activities, minutes, individuals and
other aspects of the Chapter, forwarding these records to the incoming
Secretary and to AFS headquarters, as requested.
1 . Receives, holds, invests, and disburses funds as needed for Chapter
function as approved by Society and Chapter Bylaws and Rules.
2. Maintains financial records in standard accounting f.ormat for review by
Society and Chapter officers and staff as needed or required.·
3. Prepares financial reports for chapter EXCOM and annual Chapter
4. Collects and is custodian of registration fees collected under Section 10
of the Potomac Chapter By-laws.
5. Collects and is custodian of Chapter dues collected under Section 2 of
the Potomac Chapter By-laws.
6. Prepares a final record of receipts and disbursements within 45 days
after the annual meeting to be presented to the Executive Committee.
7. Serves as a voting member of the Chapter’s Executive Committee.
Immediate Past President
1 . Acts as advisor to chapter EXCOM and gives assistance as requested by
2. Serves as Awards Committee Chair
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STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Standing Committees are permanent committees established through the
Bylaws of the Society. These committees perform a variety of tasks deemed
essential by the membership. The tasks are typically routine in the sense of
being carefully prescribed, but are clearly not routine in their importance to the
work of the Society. They carry the burden of substantive work conducted
for the membership as a whole.
Special Committees address topics that do not fall under the responsibilities
of Standing Committees. Special Committees are formed when the President
or Executive Committee decides that a formalized AFS action or position is
needed on some issue. Special Committees are created by the President, with
no additional authorization needed. They exist for one year, but may be re
appointed for subsequent years, on a year-by-year basis, by succeeding
RESPONSIBILITIES OF STANDING AND SPECIAL CHAIRS
In addition to the specific responsibilities for each committee, committee chairs
share a number of general responsibilities, as follows:
1 . Confer with the President after being appointed to determine the exact
charge of the committee and any unusual or specific charge for that
2. Work with the President to develop a list of potential committee
members and solicit volunteer members at the annual general meeting.
Potential members should be contacted to determine their ability and
willingness to join the committee.
3. Immediately after appointment of the committee, contact all members
to describe the nature of the committee’s work, the specific tasks to be
completed and the associated timetables, and to solicit suggestions from
members concerning the most efficient and effective way to perform
4. Confer with the outgoing chair of the committee to determine what
tasks remain from the preceding year and to receive documents, supplies
and other materials necessary for committee function.
5. Prepare an annual work plan and a brief summary of committee activities
for the annual meeting.
6. Assign specific tasks to specific committee members, with attending
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7. Maintain regular contact with committee members. Members rely on the
chair to keep them on schedule, which means that one of the chair’s
main jobs is to keep the members working.
8. In all deliberations, encourage members to express their opinions before
expressing the chair’s. Participate in the process only as much as any
other member would.
9. Prohibit any individual from dominating the committee’s viewpoint by
actively seeking the opinions of all members (e.g. circulating drafts of
one member’s long letter, asking each member to speak on each issue).
10. Provide opportunities for committee members to include minority
opinions or reports along with the main actions or recommendations of
11 . Encourage members to confer with colleagues, both within and outside
AFS, who may be interested in the committee’s charge or have
experience with similar issues or activities.
1 2. Submit an annual report to the Vice President.
13. Maintain complete and orderly files of committee correspondence and
action for transmission to the incoming chair where appropriate. This
should include memos to the file describing any new procedures or
modifications used during the year.
14. Write letters to active committee members, thanking them for their
STANDING COMMITTEE NAMES
The following Potomac Chapter standing committees have been approved by
the Executive Committee:
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