Bylaws of the Potomac River Smallmouth Club

ARTICLE I – The Organization and its Purposes

Section 1 – The name of the organization is the Potomac River Smallmouth Club (PRSC).

Section 2 – The purposes of the organization are (1) enhancement of recreational fishing by members, primarily for Smallmouth Bass; (2) preservation, protection and enhancement of Smallmouth Bass and the quality and quantity of Smallmouth Bass resources, particularly in the Potomac River watershed; and (3) fostering an environmentally-sound concept of Smallmouth Bass fishing as a sport and heritage to be protected and enhanced for future generations.

Section 3 – PRSC will operate as a non-profit, non-partisan and non-sectarian organization, functioning exclusively for recreational, educational, conservation and charitable purposes.

Section 4 – PRSC will promote and support appropriate habitat improvement and educational projects, and will work with public authorities and other conservation and recreational organizations to help achieve PRSC’s purposes.

Section 5 – If consistent with the purposes and policies of PRSC, as determined by the Executive Committee, PRSC may associate, or share activities, with other organizations.

ARTICLE II – Policies of PRSC

Section 1 – PRSC is committed to a policy of “catch and release” for the Black Bass family. On PRSC fishing trips, members must release all Smallmouth Bass and other members of the Black Bass family, regardless of size. Members are encouraged to observe this policy also on non-PRSC fishing trips. Exception: If consistent with applicable game regulations, a member need not release a fish that obviously is dying.

Section 2 – The PRSC “catch and release” policy does not apply to fish other than Black Bass, although members are encouraged to observe the “catch and release” policy for all fish and, in any event, to keep only fish which will be eaten or mounted.

Section 3 – On every PRSC fishing trip, participants must obey all applicable game and boating regulations and restrictions on access to water and adjacent property.

Section 4 – On every PRSC fishing trip, participants are encouraged to abide by the principle of “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.”

Section 5 – On every PRSC fishing trip, participants may not use or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on the water.
Section 6 – On every PRSC fishing trip, participants must wear an adequate personal floatation device (PFD) while on the water.

ARTICLE III – Membership, Dues, Fees

Section 1 – Anyone who shares an interest in fishing for Smallmouth Bass and who will abide by the purposes and policies of PRSC may become a member.

Section 2 – One becomes a member of PRSC upon payment of annual dues to PRSC, and remains a member in each subsequent year upon payment of dues for that year, payable no later than March 31 of that year.

Section 3 – Only paid members and their guests are allowed to participate in activities of PRSC.

Section 4 – A member may be suspended or expelled for activities inconsistent with the purposes and policies of PRSC by a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee.

Section 5 – Annual dues shall be set by the Executive Committee and announced to the members before the end of each year.

Section 6 – Other fees (for costs of trips, other activities, hats, etc.) shall be set by the coordinator assigned for the particular activity after obtaining concurrence of the President.

ARTICLE IV – Executive Officers, Other Officers, Executive Committee

Section 1 – The Executive officers of PRSC are: a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Executive Officers shall be elected annually by the membership at the regular meeting in November (see Section 8 of this Article for eligibility and process), and shall hold office thereafter for one year. No Executive Officer may hold another Executive Officer position at the same time.

Section 2 – The President, with advice and consent of the other Executive Officers, may appoint any of the following additional officers from among PRSC members, to serve during the same year as the Executive Officers: A Conservation Chair, a Programs Chair, a Librarian, a Newsletter Editor, and such other officers as deemed appropriate.

Section 3 – The Executive Committee of PRSC consists of the four Executive Officers described in Section 1; the immediate past President; and the additional officers appointed under Section 2. A majority of the Executive Committee members, including the President (or Vice President if the President is unable to preside) shall be sufficient to conduct PRSC business. Every meeting of the Executive Committee shall be announced in advance to all Executive Committee members, and shall be open to any other club member.

Section 4 – The President shall preside at all meetings; have the power to appoint (with advice and consent of the other Executive Officers) additional officers, committee heads and members, and trip coordinators; be general executive officer; and be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Section 5 – The Vice President shall serve as President in the absence or inability of the President, and shall otherwise share the President’s duties as the President directs.

Section 6 – The Secretary oversees the club roster of members and the membership application process; prepares and maintains such minutes and records as the President or Executive Committee directs; and functions as primary liaison with the sponsor of he current meeting location or other organization providing space and support for PRSC.

Section 7 – The Treasurer has custody of all funds of PRSC. The Treasurer shall endorse on behalf of PRSC for collection all checks, and deposit them, and all cash received, in a bank account designated by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall maintain full and accurate accounts of money received and paid for PRSC, and whenever requested by the President or the Executive Committee, shall provide an accounting to them. In October of each year, the Treasurer shall provide a full written accounting the membership, and shall maintain among club records a copy of this and prior accountings.

Section 8 – Annually, the President, with advice and consent of the Executive Committee, will designate a three-person nominating committee, consisting of club members in good standing, to nominate Executive Officers for the following year. To be eligible for an Executive officer position, a nominee must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for at least six months. The nomination will be announced at the October meeting, and elections will be held at the November meeting. Any member may propose other nominees at the October or November meetings. If there are no nominees in addition to the nominating committee’s slate, the President will offer the slate for election by acclamation.

Section 9 – If the President vacates office or cannot serve, the Vice President will replace him or her. The President will appoint a replacement for any other position that is vacated, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE V – Tax-Exempt Status

PRSC shall not conduct or carry on any activities not permitted to be conducted or carried on by an organization which is tax-exempt under the provisions of Section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.

ARTICLE VI – Assets, Perpetuity

Section 1 – All officers of PRSC are unpaid volunteers, and may not directly or indirectly obtain for their personal use any part of the assets of PRSC, except as follows: reimbursement for disbursements for reasonable costs of materials or services provided by others for PRSC use (e.g., for stamps and newsletter materials) if approved by the Executive Committee

Section 2 – PRSC shall exist in perpetuity or until dissolved. Upon dissolution of PRSC, any remaining unobligated assets shall be paid or transferred to the sponsor of the current meeting location.

ARTICLE VII – Waiver of Liability; Minors

Section 1 – Each member assumes the risk of his or her injury or loss associated with any PRSC activity. Fishing trips, in particular, involve inherent and unavoidable risk, and each member is personally and solely responsible for knowing how to swim, knowing water safety, observing river conditions, and supplying and using a PFD. All coordination of PRSC activities is conducted by unpaid member volunteers solely for the convenience of others. These volunteers do not assume any responsibility for the knowledge, well-being or safety of participants. In recognition of the above, and in consideration of acceptance as a PRSC member and of the services of PRSC, each member releases PRSC and PRSC’s officers and other members from all liability to him/her, his/her spouse, parents, legal representatives, heirs and assigns for any claim or damages associated with a PRSC activity for injury to person or property, or death, whether caused by the negligence of PRSC, its officers or members, or otherwise.

Section 2 – A member accompanied by a minor at a PRSC activity is solely responsible for overseeing the safety and activities of the minor. No minor may participate in a PRSC fishing trip without accompanying adult unless the minor’s parent or guardian has submitted written permission and the President believes that the minor appears competent and mature enough to participate safely and responsibly in the PRSC activity.

ARTICLE VIII – Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws

Section 1 – These bylaws were adopted initially by a unanimous vote at a regular monthly meeting on July 31, 1991, and were subsequently amended at a regular monthly meeting on June 28, 1995, subsequently amended at the regular monthly meeting on February 25,2004, to include provisions for the position and duties of the club Librarian and subsequently amended at a regular meeting on February 22, 2006.

Section 2 – The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of members present at a regular monthly meeting, provided a least a month’s prior notice of the amendment has been given to the membership and a quorum is present (a quorum shall be twenty-five percent of members in good standing).

Article IX – Distribution

A copy of these bylaws shall be made available to each member, and copies shall be available for distribution on request at monthly meetings.

By the Executive Officers, in session on February 22, 2006:

Ron Marafioti, President
Kenny Langston, Vice President
Boyd Post, Secretary
Kevin Hoover, Treasurer