Although the American Fisheries Society has been in existence since 1870, chapters were not established as subunits of the parent society until 1962. The Southern Ontario Chapter was formed in 1988. Henk Rietveld submitted the Southern Ontario petition at the 118th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, in Toronto, ON on September 14, 1988. The petition was unanimously accepted and an interim slate of executives were elected. The chapter was officially chartered on September 22, 1988.

The 1st Annual Meeting of the Southern Ontario Chapter was held April 8, 1989 at the Leslie M. Frost Centre in Dorset, Ontario. The keynote speaker was Bob White, President of the American Fisheries Society.

The Northwestern Ontario Chapter of the AFS was formed on February 27, 1979 and was officially incorporated on September 25, 1995. The 1st Meeting and Conference on Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology was held October 7-9, 1981 at the at Quetico Centre in Atikokan, Ontario. The conference was attended by over 60 people with representatives from Manitoba, Minnesota and all over Ontario.

At the 2004 Annual Meeting, the chapter voted to change its name to the Ontario Chapter and adopt a new logo. This change in identity would effectively remove any perceived barriers between fisheries professionals all across Ontario, and provide the foundation for one strong organization. Both chapters were dissolved when the Ontario Chapter was formed in 2004.

In March 2007, official status for the Student Subunit of the Ontario Chapter was granted and all student members of the chapter became members of the newly created subunit. Creation of the subunit was initiated and achieved largely due to the efforts of Lynn Bouvier.

The Ontario Chapter hosted the 138th American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Ottawa, August 2008.

Southern Ontario Chapter Charter


There is a brief history in the old AFS-SOC Chapter Handbook, but we would like to expand this history to include other initiatives that the chapter(s) have been involved with (i.e., F.I.S.H.), membership trends, photos and AGM memories (past student winners, programs, etc.).  If you have any old photos, newsletters, stories or memories of the Southern or Northwestern Ontario chapters, and would like to have them included, or if you have ideas about how our history can be presented, please contact

View past AFS-OC Executive Committees and prior Annual Meetings. AFS-SOC and NWO-AFS Executive Committee History, Annual Meetings and Newsletters can be viewed below.