The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named George C. Palmer the 2017 Fisheries Biologist of the Year at their annual meeting in Louisville this week. Palmer has been an aquatic biologist for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) since 2000.
“George Palmer has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the fisheries resources and the users of these resources throughout his career,” SEAFWA President Alvin Taylor said. “His efforts and outstanding reputation are appreciated beyond the borders of Virginia.”
Palmer directly oversees a comprehensive acquatic resource management program in south-central Virginia. He leads the agency’s Walleye Technical Subcommittee. Palmer also initiated and leads a five-state, Southern Appalachian Walleye group.
His efforts to stock, manage, and conserve native walleye in southwest Virginia are just one example of his dedication to fisheries conservation. Palmer has contributed extensively to the VDGIF’s trout fisheries management. In addition to multiple walleye hatcheries, he manages the largest tailwater trout fishery in the state, two large reservoirs, several small impoundments, multiple wild trout streams, and the upper James River.
“We have entrusted George with all of these resources, and he has continually demonstrated outstanding skill in managing these complex fisheries,” said VDGIF Director Bob Duncan. “Because of his efforts, Virginia’s and the southeast’s fisheries resources are greatly enhanced.”
Palmer is an active member of the Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in fisheries science from Virginia Tech.
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.