Several state fisheries and hatcheries staffers were honored recently for their efforts to manage and enhance the state’s fishing resources.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced that Wes Ashe, a fisheries biologist in the Belgrade Lake region, was honored as the fisheries section employee of the year, while Derik Lee, fish culturist at the Grand Lake Stream hatchery, received a similar award for the hatcheries section.
“Both Wes and Derik are extremely deserving of the award, not only for the accomplishments over the past year, but for consistently working above and beyond what is expected,” DIF&W Director of Fisheries and Hatcheries Francis Brautigam said in a press release.
Ashe was recognized for managing the state’s brown trout strain evaluation project, which helped the department choose which strain of brown trout to use in hatcheries. She also spends time communicating the state’s fisheries message through public speaking engagements.
Lee was praised for his work in the state’s aerial stocking program, and for consistently going above and beyond expectations in his work at the hatchery.
In addition, two team awards were given at the annual division meeting: A variety of agency employees were recognized for their role in the $4 million Grand Lake Stream Hatchery’s water intake construction project. Among those honored were the Maine Warden Service dive team, Director of Engineering Rick Parker and his crew, Environmental Program Manager Bob Stratton, Superintendent of Hatcheries Todd Langevin, and crew members at the GLS facility, Dave Marsanskis, Joshua Kuester and Lee.
The fisheries section team award went to the group that developed the Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool, which was released in the spring after five years of work. That effort was led by biologist Jim Pellerin, who was assisted by biologists Matt Lubejko and Nick Kalejs, fish culturist Ashley O’Neal, and designer Ray Corson.