Lake Charles man honored by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The following is a news release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has honored Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologist Bobby Reed with a Regional Director's Conservation Award.

For nearly 59 years, the USFWS has recognized exceptional conservation work through its annual achievement awards, representing one of the most prestigious awards among the nation's conservation community.  The Regional Director's Conservation Awards are presented annually and highlight regional partner agencies, individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the preservation, conservation and protection of plant and animal habitat and ecosystems.  There are 10 states, including Louisiana in the southeast region.

This year, Reed received an award for his contributions to Louisiana's freshwater fisheries.  He has represented the state and the department in national and international fisheries conservation efforts concerning threatened and endangered species and aquatic habitat preservation.

"I am humbled at the thought of receiving such an honor," said Reed.  "I have always enjoyed working with the USFWS personnel in southwest Louisiana to provide the best possible outdoor experience for freshwater anglers visiting our regional refuges."

Reed has worked with LDWF for 29 years, with 23 years as an Inland Fisheries District Supervisor in Lake Charles, La.  He is recognized by his peers throughout the southeast as one of the country's leading experts on paddlefish and pallid sturgeon.

When paddlefish harvest became a concern in Louisiana in 1986, Reed designed and conducted population and propagation research projects on paddlefish.  His work resulted in the first successful spawning of paddlefish in the department's hatchery system.  He led the department in massive, national tagging studies that provided movement patterns of paddlefish throughout central United States.  Captured fish were also utilized to determine genetic strains, a prerequisite to state stocking efforts.

When the pallid sturgeon was listed as endangered by USFWS, Reed served on the team that wrote the recovery plan for the species.  He led the team in the first large-scale effort to spawn and rear pallid sturgeon.  The effort resulted in the stocking of over 15,000 sturgeon in state waters.

Reed is past President of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, current Chair of the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA), past chair of MICRA's Paddlefish/Sturgeon Committee and was the recipient of LDWF's Employee of the Year Award for the Office of Fisheries in 2003-2004.  He has also received a Civilian Commendation Award from the United States Coast Guard for his work on the Southwest Louisiana Oil Spill Response Plan.

The Regional Director's Conservation Award will be presented to Reed at a ceremony in Atlanta, Ga., by USFWS Regional Director, Cynthia Dohner.

USFWS is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.