March 15, 2016
In early March, The National Fish Habitat Partnership and the Habitat Section of the American Fisheries Society were honored to present National Fish Habitat Awards to Gordon Robertson (Extraordinary Action in Support of Fish Habitat Conservation Award) and Drs. Tyler Wagner and Tyrell DeWeber (National Fish Habitat Award for excellence in Scientific Achievement).
Gordon Robertson, American Sportfishing Association (ASA), retired, was heavily involved in the original National Fish Habitat Action Plan from its inception, including serving on the National Fish Habitat Board for many years. He played an integral role in both drafting the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act (NFHCTPA) and helping to lead the legislative team. He was responsible for much of the evolution of the legislation over the years. His expertise in the political realm helped to garner support from dozens of members of Congress and maneuver it through the legislative process. Despite how challenging it was to garner broad support for the legislation, Gordon was diligent in his efforts to see the legislation passed. Robertson also worked to ensure that NFHP remained a high priority of the sportfishing industry, consistently highlighting its merits with industry members during meetings and events. His passion for the program was evident throughout his tenure at ASA and reflected in his strong commitment to it over the years. Robertson retired from ASA in 2015.
Drs. Tyrell DeWeber and Tyler Wagner (Penn State University) received the National Fish Habitat Award for excellence in Scientific Achievement for work on Eastern Brook Trout Habitat Modeling. In 2015, Drs. Wagner and DeWeber produced a number of peer reviewed articles and related tools that we recognize as outstanding achievements in the use of science to support the conservation of brook trout habitat throughout the EBTJV region. The scientific achievements of Drs. Wagner and DeWeber include predictive maps of water temperature and Brook Trout occurrence and a better understanding of factors influencing water temperature and Brook Trout occurrence. These actions resulted in an advancement of communicating predicted climate change effects to the public. These tools and findings provide a good foundation for supporting the work of EBTJV partners to prioritize monitoring and conservation activities in individual stream reaches throughout the region, as well as building further public support for fish habitat conservation. Tom Champeau, National Fish Habitat Board Chair presented the National Fish Habitat Awards at the March meeting of the National Fish Habitat Board, held at the Nature Conservancy in Arlington, VA.