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Colorado Parks and Wildlife
The award was given specifically for a research project completed in 2014 by CPW scientists that determined how to breed and maintain stocks of whirling disease resistant rainbow trout in hatcheries and in wild populations. The research was conducted at CPW's research hatchery in Fort Collins and in rivers across the state. The work was led by Eric Fetherman, aquatic research scientist, and George Schisler, aquatic wildlife research chief. Also contributing significantly to the work was Brad Neuschwanger, research hatchery manger, and Tracy Davis and Chris Praamsma, research hatchery technicians.

The American Fisheries Society is a professional organization with more than 8,000 members worldwide.

"This award provides national recognition for the work the research staff has done on whirling disease issues," said Doug Krieger, acting aquatics section manager. "We lead the nation in whirling disease research, and states throughout the West are interested in what we're doing."

The research was funded, in part, by grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which collects an excise tax on fishing and boating gear and fuel. Money is granted back to state wildlife agencies and used for operating and project expenses. In 2015, Colorado's share of the grant funds totaled $8.3 million.

Ken Kurzawski of the American Fisheries Society explained that this award is aimed at projects that restore aquatic resources and provide improved opportunities for anglers.

"This award highlights the importance and effectiveness of the Sport Fish Restoration program and recognizes excellence in fisheries management, research, and education," Kurzawski said.

For more than 20 years, since the early 1990s when whirling disease was discovered in Colorado, CPW aquatic scientists have been studying the disease and developing strains of rainbow trout that are resistant. Krieger explained that the work has been painstaking and exacting.

"But the hard work by aquatic staff has paid off. We've restored hatcheries, and wild rainbow trout are again thriving in the wild," Krieger said.

The award was presented to the researchers at the Jan. 13 Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Denver.

For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife go to:
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