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WRD's Jeff Durniak Recognized with National Trout Unlimited Award

September 27, 2006

The premier trout conservation group in the nation, Trout Unlimited (TU), recently bestowed the “Conservation Professional” national award to Jeff Durniak, announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). Durniak is the Fisheries Management Region Supervisor for Northeast Georgia. Trout Unlimited honors individuals for outstanding achievement in the professional fields that influence the success of TU’s mission. This organization recognizes award winners for their passion for conserving, protecting and restoring coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.

“We should consider ourselves fortunate to have someone of Jeff Durniak’s caliber protecting the water resources in the northeast part of this state,” says WRD Director Dan Forster. “I am sure it is rewarding for Durniak to receive this award from Trout Unlimited, but it also is rewarding to those of us with this agency, who know how worthy he is of that recognition.”

Jeff Durniak began his career with WRD in 1986 as a fisheries biologist at the Lake Burton Trout Hatchery near Clarkesville. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in Fisheries Management from the University of Tennessee. Durniak was promoted to Region Supervisor in 1995 and oversees a 16-county area, which includes two state trout hatcheries (Burton and Buford), many major reservoirs and much of the trout waters in Georgia.

During his career with WRD, Durniak has achieved an impressive list of accomplishments; including initiating and coordinating an annual Outdoor Adventure Day that provides over 1,000 participants an opportunity to begin or improve hunting, fishing and other outdoor activity skills; working with the U.S. Forest Service on a management plan to assure good watershed restoration and protection; implementing the first “delayed harvest” program for the State, through which portions of certain streams are managed as “catch and release” through part of the year in order to ensure high catch rates; and his tireless efforts of encouraging those he comes in contact with, whether they be conservation organizations like TU or just individuals, to introduce someone new to fishing.

TU’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. This 45 year-old organization, with more than 450 chapters, is driven by a powerful and dedicated grassroots network that is meeting the challenges of coldwater conservation and protecting rivers and fisheries for generations to come.

For more information on Trout Unlimited, visit www.tu.org. For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit the WRD website at www.gofishgeorgia.com.


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