The Arizona Rivulin Keepers (ARK) was formed in the late summer of 1998 by Allan Semeit. A long-time member of the American Killifish Association (AKA) and the (northern California) Bay Area Killifish Association (BAKA), Allan had relocated to Phoenix several months earlier. Past and present AKA members throughout Arizona, interested friends, as well as members of the Dry Wash Aquarium Society of Phoenix, were invited to attend an organizational meeting on September 12, 1998.
The first meeting was attended by over twenty people. Aside from discussion about what directions the group might take, there was a program and an auction. Peter Unmack, an Australian working on his doctorate at ASU on desert fishes, presented a video on desert fishes conservation activities in Nevada sponsored several aquarium clubs. A tremendous killifish auction followed. Many of the fish were donated by the Bay Area Killifish Association, primarily through the efforts of Bill Gallagher. Bob Schwiegerath of New Mexico also contributed some nice killies.
Since that initial meeting, the Arizona Rivulin Keepers have met every month. ARK has become an affiliate club of the American Killifish Association (AKA), although ARK members are not required to also join the AKA. Each meeting has featured a program about killifish and followed with a Trade Table whereby members can exchange or acquire killies and killie-related items. Each month has seen an incredible selection of killifishes passing through the club. This has been the result of strong support from the Bay Area Killifish Association, the Southern California Killi Club, as well as other clubs and individuals. We are thankful to all of these.
Special thanks go to: Bill Gallagher of BAKA, Jim Fong of BAKA, and Sandy Binder of SCKC for gathering and shipping killies from their clubs; Mach Fukada, of the Honolulu Aquarium Society, who personally and repeatedly enriched our auctions; and our own member, Sue Katz, who has contributed maybe more killifish to the auctions than we have received from all other sources.
Programs have been varied at our meetings. We have had speakers, videos, and slide programs. Notable guest speakers have included Charles Clapsaddle (owner of Santa Fe Tropicals), Jim Eller (creator of KillieTrader), Bill Gallagher from BAKA, Dr. Ron Harlan from SCKC, Jeff Krueger from Marineland Labs, Monty Lehmann (AKA BOT member from Virginia), and Peter Tirbak (2004 AKA Chairman from Hawaii).
Is the Arizona Rivulin Keepers right for you? The only way to know is to attend one of our meetings. We look forward to that!