Founded in 1870 as the American Fish Culturists’ Association, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is now an international society with over 8,500 members in 75 countries. AFS is open to anyone with an interest in aquatic science and education. Members are typically fishery and aquatic biologists managers, fish culturists, researchers, administrators, educators, students, and other fisheries and aquatic resource professionals.

The Dakota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society was originally organized as the Upper Missouri River Chapter in 1963. The Chapter is participating member of the North Central Division, one of four North American geographical subdivisions within the AFS. The South Dakota State University Student Subunit is an affiliate of the Dakota Chapter.

The Chapter provides several annual awards to professionals, conservation groups, and students as well as scholarship opportunities to students (see Chapter Awards). Two scholarships, the Schmulbach Memorial Scholarship and the Sauger Scholarship, are awarded to undergraduate fisheries students each year.

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