The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Jeff Evans the 2020 Fisheries Biologist of the Year at their 74th annual meeting, held virtually Oct. 26-28. Evans has been the Superintendent of the Watha State Fish Hatchery for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), for nearly 30 years.
“Evans has been an invaluable asset to the NCWRC, and his influence has extended well beyond North Carolina,” SEAFWA President Paul Johansen said. “His efforts have significantly advanced the science of fish propagation and have substantially expanded opportunities to meet the needs of fisheries managers using stocked fish.”
Evans has led the Watha Hatchery in multiple innovative fish production projects, including groundbreaking work with American shad and striped bass. His work with parentage-based tagging has enabled the NCWRC to monitor striped bass stocking efforts and outcomes in multiple coastal rivers.
“Jeff Evans is a vital part of our Inland Fisheries Division,” said NCWRC Executive Director Cameron Ingram. "He routinely identifies and implements adaptive strategies that meet the needs of fisheries management staff, welcomes new challenges, and serves as a resource for federal and other state resource agencies, universities, and various other partners."
Evans graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's in fisheries and wildlife science. He is a member of the American Fisheries Society and the World Aquaculture Society.
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.