The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Dennis Riecke the 2016 Fisheries Biologist of the Year at their annual meeting in Baton Rouge this week. Riecke is a fisheries biologist for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.
Dennis Riecke named 2016 SEAFWA Fisheries Biologist of the Year
BATON ROUGE – Oct. 19, 2016 – The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Dennis Riecke the 2016 Fisheries Biologist of the Year at their annual meeting in Baton Rouge this week. Riecke is a fisheries biologist for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.
“For nearly 30 years, Dennis Riecke has demonstrated a strong understanding of the three ingredients for successful fisheries management: fish, people and habitat,” SEAFWA President Gordon Myers said. “His contributions to fisheries conservation, though delivered in Mississippi, have rippled across the country.”
Riecke currently serves as the MDWFP representative on the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality permit board and coordinates several programs for the MDWFP fisheries bureau, including technical guidance, commercial fisheries and a community fishing assistance program. He has become an expert in issues related to public water access, aquatic nuisance species and in-stream flow.
“I can’t think of a more demonstrable commitment to controlling the spread of aquatic nuisance species in Mississippi than Dennis’ involvement in establishing the first Asian Carp processing plant in the state,” said MDWFP Director Sam Polles. “Furthermore, he contributed to the development of our state management plan for aquatic invasive species, a plan that was 10 years in development.”
Active in his professional society, Riecke has been a member of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) since 1979. As evidence of his leadership skills, he has been elected to various offices at the state and national levels of AFS. He currently serves as past-president of the Southern Division of AFS. He has also served as a fisheries manuscript reviewer for SEAFWA and the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.
On a public level, Riecke has facilitated landowner and public understanding of fisheries management through more than 30 popular articles and as coauthor of two editions of Managing Mississippi Ponds and Small Lakes: A Landowner’s Guide.
Riecke was recognized for these and many other contributions to managing Mississippi’s freshwater resources in 2015 when the Mississippi Wildlife Federation named him their Fisheries Conservationist of the Year.
The Association’s Biologist of the Year Awards are presented to two career biologists of state wildlife agencies, one each in the categories of wildlife and fisheries, who in the opinion of the SEAFWA Awards Committee have made outstanding contributions toward wildlife/fisheries conservation.
The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) is an organization whose members are the state agencies with primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.