CHEYENNE - Steve Yekel, fisheries supervisor for the Cody Region recently retired after more than 37 years with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
He began his Game and Fish career as a fish biologist aid in Laramie. In 1977, he was promoted to the Cody fish management team and he was promoted to his current position in July 2002.
Yekel was honored as the “Fish Division Employee of the Year” in 1999 for his management innovations at East and West Newton lakes and Luce, Hogan and Deaver reservoirs. He also helped found the Game and Fish Biologist’s Association in 1998 and served as the association’s first president. In 2001, he received the “Max” award from the American Fisheries Society for his work restoring Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
“Steve’s early efforts to develop the superb Newton Lake fisheries successfully met angler’s needs and balanced angler desires among diverse angling interests in the Cody Region,” said Fisheries Chief Mark Fowden. “He has also been involved in assessments of the range-wide status of Yellowstone cutthroat trout and restoration efforts that have proven critical to preclude its listing under the Endangered Species Act.”
Yekelgrew up in Torrington and is a 1970 graduate of Torrington High School. His degrees from the University of Wyoming include a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in zoology.
In 1999, Yekel served as president of the Great Plains Fisheries Worker Association, where he established a scholarship for a prospective fish biologist at the University of Wyoming. He is also a member of the Colo/Wyo Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.
Commenting on Yekel’s career, Fowden said that Yekel’s motivation and dedication to the regional fisheries, anglers and diverse publics have served the department well. “Steve’s achievements are certainly both numerous and remarkable,” Fowden said.
(Contact: Al Langstron (307) 777-4540)