Conservation Fisheries topic of Jan. 25 online program

·2 min read
A Fisheries diver.
A Fisheries diver.

Join the UT Arboretum Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, for a Zoom presentation on Conservation Fisheries Inc., a non-profit preserving the Southeast's aquatic biodiversity.

Presenter Pat Rakes is co-director of Conservation Fisheries. He will explain the role and mission of CFI as well as its history, photos of the hatchery, field work and fish as well as cooperators in this important effort, according to a news release.

This is a free Zoom presentation co-sponsored by the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society.

Rakes has been studying rare fishes since he began his master’s degree project at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1982, focusing on the distribution and life history of the Barrens Topminnow, according to the release. This work laid the foundation for efforts that continue today. Rakes and J.R. Shute founded CFI just after finishing graduate school projects. Both are in awe of how it has grown since then, the release stated.

Years of maintaining aquaria have led to an appreciation of the art and science (the “wet thumb”) involved in keeping fish alive, healthy and able to reproduce. The rewards of co-directing CFI have not been monetary, but rich in constant learning, studying the life history, ecology, reproductive biology, distribution, and taxonomy of rare fish in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The snorkeling that was a novel technique for monitoring rare fish 30 years ago never gets old, according to the release.

This program is co-sponsored by Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. The program is free, but register to receive your Zoom link. at This program will be recorded, and closed captioning is available. Contact Michelle Campanis at with any questions or registration issues.

In accordance with the Universty of Tennessee guidelines for COVID-19 precautions, programs are currently being presented online. Though the UT Arboretum Society’s educational programs are not on-site activities, the release stated, the UT Arboretum Society is pleased to bring the public some great online options.

This article originally appeared on Oakridger: Conservation Fisheries topic of Jan. 25 online program

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting