History of the Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund

In a document prepared by Murray Spiers and Ed Burridge in 1973 (and updated by later secretaries of CCFFR) it was suggested that the history of the Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund be recorded.

While Chairman at the 1972 CCFFR meeting, Jean-Paul Cuerrier, formerly at Canadian Wildlife Service, suggested that a fund be created in order to facilitate the attendance at future CCFFR meetings by graduate students in the fisheries field. The idea was approved by the 1972 meeting and J.P Cuerrier was asked to chair a Committee to examine the possibilities of raising funds for this purpose.

The Committee was successful in raising $1,150 the first year, made up of $650 from the Canadian National Sportsmens' Show thanks to W. B. Scott and of $500 from the Canadian Sport Fishing Institute thanks to J. P. Cuerrier. The fund was named in 1973 in honour of Dr. W. A. Clemens who had chaired the first two CCFFR meetings. From 1973 to 1976 inclusively, the Fund operated with an annual budget not exceeding $3710. During this period, under Cuerrier's management, it was understood the Travel Fund would pay one half of a graduate student's travel expenses provided that the professor supervising the student's graduate work would pay the other half of the travelling expenses.

Due to a lack of donations, the Clemens Travel Fund did not operate in 1977. In 1978, the Fisheries Research Board revived the Fund with an annual grant of $5,000. The sharing obligation was discontinued. In 1984 the Canadian Wildlife Federation added a contribution of $5,000 and later decided to manage the Fund. Annual contributions by CWF and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans rose to $12,000. In 1987 the Society of Canadian Limnologists began contributing to and benefitting from the Fund, and the name was changed to Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund.

After the 1994 meetings, funding and management by CWF was discontinued. The Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of American Fisheries Society offered to take on management of the Fund. As when CWF was managing the Fund, donations to the fund are matched up to a maximum of $6,000 by DFO. In 1995 and 1996 the Fund disposed of only $4,600 made up of contributions from CCFFR, SCL, CARS and DFO. For 1997 the amount has been increased thanks to donations from the Northeast Division of the American Fisheries Society and Hoskin Scientific Limited.

During the past 24 years, the number of fishery students who received financial assistance to attend the CCFFR meetings rose from 11 in the first year to 37 in January 1997 (Ottawa). Funding rose from $1,150 available the first year to a maximum of $13,000 in 1994.

Let's wish long life to the Clemens-Rigler Travel Fund. We are pleased to recognise the two members who contributed to the birth of the Fund, J. P. Cuerrier and W. B. Scott.

V. E. F. Solman and Howard Powles
CCFFR 50th Anniversary Meeting
January 3, 1997