Fisheries biologist Don Harrison recently was selected as the “Fishery Worker of the Year” by the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
The mission of the American Fisheries Society is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. This award is presented to an individual in recognition of efforts that have made a significant impact on fisheries research or management in Georgia during the past year.
“Don Harrison not only efficiently handles his regular duties, but also took on the process of leading Georgia in the Section 10 Permit process for the shad fishery coastwide,” said John Biagi, Wildlife Resources Division’s chief of fisheries management. “This task was tremendously daunting in scope and Don is being the leader for many other states that will be following his example.”
Harrison, a fisheries biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division for 17 years has developed, led and assisted with many outstanding achievements.
The Section 10 Permit process, which goes through the National Marine Fisheries Service, is a lengthy, complex and often frustrating process. No other state along the Atlantic coast has such a permit for shad fisheries. The permit allows the commercial shad fishery to continue to operate while protecting endangered sturgeon. Initiating this effort included developing the application, reviewing drafts and working with multiple agencies, including the Coastal Resources Division and federal agencies, such as the National Marine Fisheries Service.
In addition to overseeing the Section 10 process, Harrison also continued the shad management project for Georgia, supervised biological activities on Paradise Public Fishing Area, and serves the Southeast fisheries office as assistant supervisor.
“Don is always professional, dedicated and competent – but his persistence at tackling this permitting process is what led to, and ultimately, qualifies him for this award,” said Biagi.
For more information on the “Fishery Worker of the Year” award, visit the Georgia Chapter American Fisheries Society website at www.gaafs.org . For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit www.gofishgeorgia.com .