I grew up fishing on the lakes and reservoirs in Nebraska and Kansas including Harlan County Reservoir, Lake Mcconaughy, Merritt, and Glen Elder. My dad later purchased a membership to the Snake River Fishing Club near Valentine, NE where I started catching trout on live grasshoppers, eventually modifying my presentation to dry flies.
During my teenage years my dad and I fished for lake trout, walleye, and northern pike each summer in Northern Manitoba. I landed my first fisheries job 1 week after graduating from Notre Dame with a BS in biology working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources just south of Indianapolis. Later I helped rear steelhead trout and Chinook salmon at the Bodine State Fish Hatchery in Mishawaka, IN. It took me about 9 months to realize I was not going to substantially advance as a fisheries professional without a secondary degree so I searched long and hard for a graduate program and landed a MS research assistantship at the University of Nebraska.
At UNL I studied the movements and habitat use by federally endangered pallid sturgeon along with shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Platte River along with taking a variety of courses specifically geared toward fisheries management. Once I graduated permanent jobs were scarce, so like most fisheries professionals, I was willing to relocate to Klamath Falls, Oregon with a semi-permanent position with the United States Geological Survey.
In Oregon I worked on a project investigating recruitment issues with endangered species but found myself spending most of my free time catching sturgeon in the Columbia River and Chinook Salmon in the Rogue River. Finally, the job I desperately wanted opened in Brush in 2005 and I became a permanent fisheries biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife managing the eastern plains reservoirs and surveying populations of native minnow species in the South Platte Basin east of Greeley.
I transferred to the Fort Collins office in 2008 and it will be really difficult to move me out of my current chair. Now I manage public aquatic resources within the Big Thompson, St. Vrain, and Boulder Creek drainages. In my opinion, it is the best mix of managing both warmwater and coldwater fish species. I will never try to sell you anything besides a fishing license my hopes for interacting on this website is simply to provide anglers with accurate information regarding what a CPW fish biologist does (no black helicopters here) and what CPW does to promote fishing in Colorado.
The waters I most frequently fish, outside of work, include Lonetree, Carter, Severance Town Pond, St. Vrain State Park Ponds, the Jumbo Annex and Jumbo Reservoir.
I have the pleasure with working with some of the most dedicated law enforcement, hatchery personel, and biologists in the world. Although not everyone agrees with some of the difficult decision CPW makes, the overall goal seeks to provide public users with the best possible outdoor experiences. Go Fish Colorado!