MN AFS 2022 Election


Elections were held for the following MN AFS Officer and Executive Committee positions:

  • 2022 President – Elect – Eric Altena
  • MNDNR Representative – Nick Peterson
  • Open Representative – Jessie Koehle

For more information, please contact our Nominations Committee Chair Craig Kelling (

Candidate Bios:

2022 President Elect

President Elect: Eric Altena, MNDNR, Little Falls

Photo provided by Eric Altena.

My name is Eric Altena and glad to be given the opportunity to be president elect for the MN Chapter of AFS. I am originally an “east coastah”, managed to get my undergrad with Colorado State University back in 1990, at that time was president of the student chapter of  AFS. Spent some time in Ohio, Michigan and Texas, where I was fortunate enough to get my Masters with Texas A&M (1998) while working for Texas Parks and Wildlife. All the while, maintaining both state and national chapter memberships with AFS. Moved to MN in 1998 and attended the infamous MN Chapter meeting at Camp Ripley. I feel like my networking was favorable to my employment here in MN, as I was hired in December of 1998 as a specialist with MNDNR in Montrose. Took over “webgeek” duties for the chapter in the early 2000’s, been involved and have truly enjoyed being part of the MN Chapter ever since…  Currently working as an Area Fisheries Manager in Little Falls MN and proud to be active with all the MN Chapter of AFS has to offer. Enjoy fishing, bowhunting and still play hockey. I goof around on guitar and have a beautiful wife (Becky), son (Braden – 25), a stepson (Cameron -24) and two stepdaughters (Kelsey-30 and Kaitlyn – 28).

2022 Open Representative EXCOM

Open Representative: Jessie Koehle, Water Resources Specialist, City of Eagan

Photo provided by Jessie Koehle.

This will be my second term serving as an Executive Committee Member for MN AFS and I am thrilled to continue this fascinating work. Business meetings might sound boring at first glance but it turns out they are anything but! The connections we form within our professional societies and working groups are webs of resilience that promote the development, support, and idea sharing that allow us to be at our best as practitioners of fisheries and environmental science. I am so grateful for this opportunity to work alongside other folks who are truly superstars.

I am currently a Water Resources Specialist in the Public Works Division of the City of Eagan, Minnesota. Before joining the City of Eagan in 2007, I completed my Masters degree at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Conservation Biology, Fisheries and Aquatic Science. I enjoyed my rich experiences at the U between 2003 and 2007 under the direction of the excellent Dr. Ira Adelman. I had previously completed a B.S. in Biology from Hope College in Holland Michigan, within a 7-mile bicycle ride of Lake Michigan, which I swam in as often as possible. My love of surface waters and the creatures inhabiting them stems from growing up on a small farm in rural Michigan, where I enjoyed stomping around in vernal pools, wading in leech-filled creeks, and visiting the sand dunes in Michigan state parks. I have always dreamed of becoming a scientist who helps to protect surface waters.

My current position with the City of Eagan allows me to perform fish population surveys a few times per year, as well as teach youth fishing programs, perform aquatic plant management, AIS control, public outreach, water quality sampling, and shallow lake water quality management in various ways. I aerate our fishing lakes in winter, decide where to stock fish in partnership with our local DNR, and help run our stormwater alum dosing system. I am lucky to be able to touch so many aspects of practical lake management and I enjoy collaborating with all different divisions and organizations throughout the year. I am additionally passionate about three specific topics: promoting nontoxic fishing tackle; pushing for racial equity in every aspect of daily life; and participating in student mentoring whenever possible. I look forward to another great term with the MN AFS!