Normandin, Ken

Ever since I was a kid, I can remember there always being at least one aquarium in the house.  When I was about 10 and living with my grandparents in Blackstone, Massachusetts, my uncle (who was still living at home….) was keeping and breeding show guppies in several (I think it was around 20 or so) aquariums.  That was my first real exposure to breeding tropical fish and it snowballed from there.  Also, during this time I also developed a liking for exploring the local streams and ponds in search of whatever “critters” I could find.  I think you know where this is heading…..! Fast-forward about 15 years to 1984….  I am now in the U.S. Navy stationed in San Diego, CA and I get my first introduction to killies, at a local killifish show at the exhibition halls at Balboa Park.  I was absolutely in awe of just about every fish I saw and I had to find out more.  I contacted the local San Diego club as advertised at the show and attended my first killifish meeting with the likes of Monty Lehman, John Pitcairn, Russ Feilzer and other names I can’t remember.  However, this was to be a short foray into the killie hobby since family and military obligations took precedence. After some life changes and a military transfer to Jacksonville, FL in 1992, I once again started looking for killifish contacts.  By chance I was referred to and contacted Mark Rodriguez in Tampa, FL.  I made the trip to his house and after he showed me around his “fish room” (actually in his living room) we spoke for a few hours about killies.  I left there with several pairs of killies (blue gularis and others), as well as contact information for the AKA.  At this time I also renewed my love for tromping through the waterways in search of my own “wild fish”. Currently, I maintain approximately 300 tanks, mostly filled with my favorite genus, Rivulus, of which I maintain about 70 species/locations.  I also still enjoy going on collecting trips, most notably trips to Panama in January, 2006 and January 2009.  During these trips I was privileged to be a part of a group of dedicated hobbyists assisting the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) with a research project to determine the geographic ranges of several Rivulus species as well as a few livebearer species.  At the time of this writing, we are coordinating with STRI on a return trip in January, 2012.  I have also been privileged to be able to assist several scientific institutions by providing living and preserved samples for genetic research.  I have had the honor of being invited to speak on my favorite genus at several local club shows and have been a speaker at three AKA national conventions.    I am a former chairman of the Rivulus sub-committee of the AKA’s Killifish Conservation Committee and I have been honored by the AKA as Killifish Hobbyist of the Year for 2000. Programs: Rivulus – Maintenance and Breeding Collecting in Panama – A Less on Cooperation Between Science and Hobby