CHEYENNE - John Burns, who has been working with spawning and distribution out of the Clark’s Fork Hatchery near Cody, recently retired after 34 years of service with the Game and Fish Department.
Burns, a Dubois native, graduated from high school in Dubois and attended Chadron State College in Nebraska, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal law. He began his Game and Fish career with spawning and distribution at the Dubois Hatchery in 1978 and transferred to the Clark’s Fork Hatchery in 1995.
In his position with the statewide fisheries response crew, Burns has had the responsibility for delivering fish to waters all over Wyoming and has spent a great deal of time picking up fish from out-of-state sources for delivery to Wyoming waters. In 2005, he received special recognition from the Game and Fish Commission for driving more than one million accident free miles in performance of his duties. Much of that driving was in extremely adverse conditions, picking up or transporting fish in a dozen states. His first trip was in 1978, taking a load of walleye from Ocean Lake to Keyhole Reservoir for a spawning operation.
Mike Stone, Game and Fish chief of fisheries, said Burns has safely stocked fish into the major lakes and reservoirsthroughout Wyoming for many years. “His 34 year record of 1,185,000 accident-free miles is unlikely to be duplicated,” Stone said.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)