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Department of Fish and Game

September 3, 2003

Contacts:
Stan Stephens, DFG Senior Biologist, (559) 243-4017, ext 235
Troy Swauger, DFG Public Affairs, (916) 654-2096

DFG Presents CalTrout Executive with Director's
Achievement Award


SANTA ROSA - The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) presented California Trout Inc.'s Brett Matzke with a Director's Achievement Award Thursday for his dedication to the preservation of native trout and their habitats, including the state's official fish, the Golden Trout.

DFG Regional Manager Bill Loudermilk gave the Department's highest recognition to Matzke, the Southern Sierra Nevada Manager for the statewide conservation organization, during the Fish and Game Commission's Aug. 28 meeting. In addition to the award, on behalf of the Department, Loudermilk presented Matzke a donated wood carved desk mount of a beautiful California Golden Trout.

Loudermilk, manager of DFG's San Joaquin Valley - Southern Sierra Region, praised the long working history between DFG and CalTrout on numerous fish and wildlife conservation issues. He lauded Matzke on his efforts to protect the fish and wildlife resources of the southern Sierra Nevada on behalf of CalTrout and California's stream resources.

"Mr. Matzke has focused an unwavering commitment to California anglers, the trout and their habitats through his efforts with the California Trout Inc.," Loudermilk said. "The work has served an incredible benefit to those who enjoy the natural environment, a benefit that Fish and Game recognizes and appreciates wholeheartedly."

Some highlights of Matzke's efforts included:

* Effective work with DFG and the U.S. Forest Service over 10 years to improve grazing practices in the Sierra, Sequoia, and Inyo national forests.

* Ongoing assistance to DFG and others to develop the draft Strategic Trout Plan, providing an ecosystem management focus for DFG's trout management programs.

* Assisted DFG, the Fish and Game Commission, and the Legislature to pass the Heritage Trout Policy of 1999, and the Heritage Trout Bill of 2000.

* Assisted DFG and the Fish and Game Commission to include the populations of the California Golden Trout, under Wild Trout or Heritage Trout water designations.

* Worked statewide to secure improved riparian and aquatic habitat protection through active participation on all forest service lands and resource management plans and "Rangeland 2000."

California Trout Inc., with its estimated 5,300 membership, dedicates its resources to the protection and restoration of wild trout and native steelhead, and to the California waters these species inhabit. Matzke has been the Southern Sierra Nevada Manager since 1987.

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