The Colorado State University Student Sub-Unit of the American Fisheries Society is a nonprofit, student run organization. The mission of the CSU Student Chapter of the American Fisheries Society is to enhance the education and professional development of its members to help them become leading fisheries professionals dedicated to advancing the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems.  Officially, we are a sub-unit of the Colorado Wyoming Chapter and national organization of the American Fisheries Society. Our by-laws can be found HERE.

Join AFS! Our current members are a very social group and represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Only minimal membership dues are required and students are welcome to join at any club event.  Benefits of becoming a member include updates and invites to AFS events, fishing tips, career networking opportunities, presentations from leading fishery industry professionals, and discounted membership in the national chapter of the American Fisheries Society.

Becoming involved with the American Fisheries Society is an excellent opportunity to meet new people with the same interests. AFS members can participate in exciting events including habitat restoration projects, group fishing trips, the annual College Lake fishing derby, snorkeling local river systems, Western Division of the AFS meetings, the Colorado/Wyoming AFS meeting, and community events.

CLUB MEETINGS:  Both undergraduate and graduate students that attend meetings can meet experts in every area of fisheries and aquatic biology, and acquire information about academic and professional opportunities. The meeting Schedule for Fall 2018 can be found below or on AFS board in Wagar.

LIVE AQUARIUM DISPLAYS: CSU AFS manages four live aquarium displays to help raise awareness and improve education about aquatic species and their habitats. The aquariums are located in the Wagar Building at CSU and include a tropic community fish display, a Colorado native fish display, a Colorado native amphibian display, and a Colorado endangered species display. Check out our display education posters and stop by Wagar Building next time you are on campus.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FLYCASTERS: For students that are particularly interested in flyfishing, feel free to check out Trout Unlimited’s Rocky Mountain Flycasters. RMF holds monthly meetings with fly tying demos and speakers, along with restoration and community outreach opportunities; all in which CSU AFS members are welcome to attend. For more information check out their website.


Sandra Hargraves, President

I was born and raised in San Diego, California where I spent my weekends fishing with my dad in freshwater ponds. I transferred to Colorado State University with an Associates of Science and I am currently working on my Bachelors in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. I have worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a seasonal employee and I volunteer with their annual walleye spawn in Pueblo State Park. Over the last two years, I have worked as both a Lab Research Assistant and a summer Field Technician for the CSU Larval Fish Lab.  In my free time, I enjoy fly fishing in the varies rivers and lakes around Colorado.

Kristin Hall, Vice President


Sasha Maxey, Student Liaison

A very fishy kid from the great lakes state. I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most of my youth was spent pestering crayfish, dragonflies, and bluegill in small ponds. As I grew older, I became fascinated with freshwater aquatic ecosystems. I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation biology, concentrating in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. I was fortunate enough to have worked this past summer for the CSU Larval Fish Laboratory as a fisheries technician. In the future, I hope to take my career back to Michigan and conduct research or manage some the the at risk watersheds around metro Detroit and Lake Erie drainages.


Cory Altwies, Secretary

I was born in Tampa, FL but lived most of my younger years in California and Georgia until I moved back to Florida during my high school years. During the years in Georgia and Florida is where I discovered my passion for fishing. Due to spending much of my time in these two states, I enjoy freshwater and saltwater fishing but my true passion lies within the saltwater communities. Colorado is the first state I have ever lived in that is considered land locked since I was stationed in South Carolina and Hawaii during my 6 years within the Navy but I specifically transferred out here to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science within the Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology program with a concentration in conservation. Since moving out here, I have become more involved in traditional fly fishing as well as continuing the Japanese style of fly fishing known as tenkara. This is my first semester as an officer within AFS and I’m extremely excited to see what I can bring to this program in order to further their goals and missions.


Chase Garvey, Treasurer

I was born in Edwardsville, Illinois growing up exploring the many waterways that cover the central Mississippi River Valley. I have always been fascinated by all things water, and I knew immediately after arriving at Colorado State University that I wanted to study aquatics. I am currently a senior undergraduate majoring in Fish, Wildlife, and, Conservation Biology with a concentration on Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. I am passionate about everything outdoors including skiing, hiking, camping, and of course angling! My academic interests include aquaculture, native species conservation, and river restoration. I am proud to be a part of our excellent fisheries program at C.S.U. and am very excited to serve this year as an officer in our A.F.S. student subunit!


Kevin Fitzgerald, Aquarium Curator

My name is Kevin Fitzgerald, and I will be the AFS aquarium curator for the 2018 academic year. I am currently a junior in the FWCB program, and I am originally from the Baltimore-Washington Metro area. Right now I work for the Foothills Fish Lab where I help construct experimental aquaculture systems and assist in fish care. My hobbies are diverse and range anywhere from fishing to fishing. Ultimately, my goal is to earn a survivable income doing something which allows me to work with fish


Ike Thibedeau, Assistant Aquarium Curator

I grew in Nederland, Colorado which is a small mountain town located west of Boulder. From a young age, I loved to fish and play outside. This love for the outdoors is why I am at Colorado State University.  I am currently a Senior at CSU pursuing a degree in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a concentration Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.  I am also getting a minor in Ecological Restoration.  I hope to use my degree in the future to do work in conservation.  I want to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same outdoor and fishing experiences I have been able to take pleasure in.

Dr. Yoichiro Kanno, Faculty Advisor
Entering the field of fisheries biology allowed me to parlay my enthusiasm for fish and fishing into a professional career.  I received my B.S. (1992) in Resource Management with a Fisheries emphasis from U.C. Berkeley, and my M.S. (1996) and Ph.D. (1998) in Ecology with an emphasis in fish physiological ecology from U.C. Davis.  I have been on the faculty at CSU since 2000, and have developed a highly-applied research program that focuses on fish passage and barrier design, aquaculture, the management of invasive aquatic species, and finding novel ways to improve undergraduate exposure to fisheries research.  While I thoroughly enjoy research, my passion for teaching and mentoring the next generation of fisheries biologists is second only to my passion for fishing, so working with the students in the CSU AFS Student Subunit since 2000 has been both enjoyable and rewarding.

Spring 2019 Semester

February 7th: Jon Wardell

February 21st: Eric Featherman

March 7th: Tyler Swarr

April 4th: Estevan Vigil

April 18th: Kyle Battige

April 20th: Selling derby tickets

April 25th: Fishing Derby Volunteers Meeting

April 27th: Evan Lefort Memorial Fishing Derby

May: End of the year BBQ


Each year the Colorado State University Student Subunit of the American Fisheries Society puts on two fishing derbies at College Lake, hosting anglers from around the region for some of the best bass and pike fishing in Northern Colorado. Ticketed participants are allowed access to an otherwise restricted lake for this one-day event. Prizes are awarded for the largest bass, largest pike, most fish caught, most inches caught, largest pike on a fly rod, and smallest fish caught.

This year the Fall Kids Derby will be held on TBD 2019.

Derby ticket sales will be held on TBD 2019.

Click HERE for the kids derby flyer.


This year is the 34th annual Evan Lefort Memorial Fishing Derby!

The derby date April 27th, 2019.

Derby tickets sales are TBD.

Click HERE for the flyer.


College Lake Fishing Derby Rules: Click HERE

Stay tuned for more details here and on our Facebook and Instagram pages!!!

Facebook: American Fisheries Society Colorado State University

Instagram: afs_colostate


For more information, contact AFSCSU[at]