Conference Call

FITS Excom Conference Call 9/10/2015 10:00am-11:15am



Julie Defilippi

Andy Loftus

Nick Sievert

Rebecca Krogman

Jeff Kopaska

Thom Litts

Jodi Whittier



  1. Vacant positions (Newsletter, Webmaster, Communications)-Julie
    1. Jeff Ojala interested in taking over newsletter editing duties, Nick will work with him in determining roles going forward.
    2. Communications: Nicole Eiden has expressed interest and Julie will reach out.
    3. Webmaster: Still looking for someone, Thom willing to keep working on it but would be valuable to bring in new involvement. This position probably does not need to be an expert, but someone who is relatively savvy and interested.
      1. Rebecca suggested the possibility newsletter and webmaster position could be combined.
      2. Thom mentioned that the website could be redone if the group wanted it, discussion seemed to suggest that folks were happy with it.
    4. FITS website Discussion
      1. Thom mentioned that there were issues with software being served from the website.
        1. People are still trying to download many of the old software packages, not sure whether people are still able to use/download some of them.
        2. Discussion of whether we can tell if people are able to successfully download software from our dropbox.
  • Much of the software (such as fish name spell checker) may be out of date, is it still worth hosting –Thom
  1. Julie mentioned that a good project for the year may be doing a review and revamp of our software distribution.
    1. Clean out the old stuff that is cluttering things up
    2. Add new software that people may be interested


  1. Insurance (if discussion is necessary)
    1. Julie sent out email regarding insurance (which we have not purchased over the last few years) to group. Insurance is offered once a year and covers meetings or events hosted by FITS.
      1. Andy- Because we are unlikely to host an event in the next year it is probably not necessary.
      2. Julie asked if anyone was opposed to not purchasing insurance this year
        1. No one on the call was in opposition
      3. Website status update
        1. Rebecca update on member portal discussion by ESAB
          1. Add Software review to our 2015-2016 project.
          2. Rebecca will forward more information on to the group once she gets info from woodstreet and ASI
          3. Rebecca and Julie express frustration on some of the issues discussed in their call.
          4. Rebecca and Julie both are advocates of framing.
          5. Andy- This has been an issue for 4 years, it’s time to get a website out.
          6. There are still issues with the member portal that need to get worked out.


  1. Upcoming newsletter
    1. Julie- Post annual meeting newsletter
      1. Presentations were collected from symposium, she has contacted participants asking for their permission to include their presentations in newsletter.
        1. One participant works in a job they only want abstract posted with request that anyone interested contact her.
      2. Thom also has peoples presentation for his symposium, needs to get their permission
  • Nick set deadline as October 9th, will reach out to OFWIM and membership to solicit submissions.
  1. 2015-2016 projects (see below)


Julie- I think it would be great if we could start the year by really defining what we want to accomplish. So, I have put together a list of the things I thought of, but would really like everyone to contribute.


2015-2016 Projects

  1. Continue Fisheries Data Exchange
    1. There is a lot of interest in this.
    2. Frustration with disappearing data which could otherwise be very useful.
    3. Jodi mentioned that this may become a symposium at the world fisheries congress in May.
    4. Julie suggests continuing what is started at the World Fisheries Congress into next years AFS
    5. FDX may not be on board with this, may need to become separate endeavors-Julie
    6. Andy and Rebecca discussed the push by some to establish a template, and some of the problems that would come up with going in that direction.
      1. Andy- The biggest issue is coming up with standards rather than format.
    7. Rebecca suggests featuring success stories related to fisheries data exchange on our website and posting success stories to try to get people thinking about possibilities for successful data exchange.
    8. Andy asked Jeff about if the presentations were available from a data exchange symposium he organized a few years ago.
      1. Julie has the Virginia presentation from this year.
    9. Rebecca would like us to become the purveyors of this information. We could be the starting point for people/groups interested in implementing these programs.
      1. It would encourage states to have centralized databases.
    10. Julie and Andy discussed issues with people seeing the value in sharing data versus the investment they have to put into it.
    11. Rebecca suggests that in order for this to move forward in inland systems there needs to be some benefit to it. Suggests standards could be that benefit.
      1. Andy says that from his experience the benefit needs to be money.
    12. Julie suggests that this topic is something that needs to be discussed in more detail later
    13. Julie asked Jeff what would hold him back from participating in a national exchange?
      1. Jeff- It requires a lot of time and investment, but benefits aren’t always there for the people collecting the data.
        1. There are big discrepancies in the data being collected by different states, getting everyone to the same place would be a huge challenge.
        2. Limited value until most states can get up to the same level and be on board.
      2. Andy- The hurdle is often getting the right personnel in place to tackle data issues.
  • Jeff- Needs to have something that he can go to administrators with to show importance of using resources towards data exchange.
  1. Julie- It’s important for FITS folks to be on the same page when working with FDX to help steer the ship.


  1. Participate in and facilitate a webinar series
  2. Complete update of website and member portal (ESAB lead)
  3. ESAB integration (work out bylaws and constitution)
  4. Establish a FITS Communications Plan
  5. Promote data quality and application of data life cycle practices in fisheries (different from FDX)
  6. Continue collaboration with OFWIM (possibly project 6)
  7. Other projects ???


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