Game and Fish water management supervisor Tom Annear retires after 38 years

Tom Annear, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department water management supervisor, is retiring after nearly 38 years with the department.

9/24/2018 6:09:50 AM

Cheyenne - Tom Annear, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department water management supervisor, is retiring after nearly 38 years with the department. Annear established the Game and Fish’s instream flow program which secures lasting water rights throughout Wyoming for the benefit of fish and aquatic habitat.

Annear began his career with Game and Fish in 1981 as a special project biologist.  He laid the roots for the instream flow program by researching instream flow methods and developing protocols for Wyoming which are still in use today. In 1989, he was promoted to the instream flow supervisor where he coordinated technical, legal, and policy issues on instream flow with others in the agency, partners in other agencies, and the public. Annear became the water management supervisor in 2005, overseeing field studies, implementing water management strategies and chairing the department’s water rights management team. Over the course of his career he has become an internationally renowned expert in the water management field.

“I really value all the relationships and the mutual trust from my colleagues at Game and Fish and other agencies that I’ve had the privilege to work with over my career,” said Annear. “I am grateful for the support I’ve had from the department and the ability to work on a lot of big projects--including projects like helping restore water and a fishery in Diamond Lake near Laramie--a negotiation that spanned 25 years.”

Over his career, Annear has published numerous papers; delivered presentations on instream flow law, policy, procedures, and research; and co-authored four books on river and lake management.  He developed the X-Stream Angler fishing program that informs anglers on the value of instream flow water rights and encourages fishing in those streams. Annear also teaches an applied river management course as an adjunct professor in the Haub School, Department of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming and plans to continue teaching in retirement.

During his tenure at Game and Fish, he was recognized as the 1997 Game and Fish, Fish Division Employee of the Year and 2004 Wyoming Wildlife Federation Wildlife Conservationist of the Year.  He also received the 2011 Instream Flow Council Making a Difference award and the 2012 Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Lifetime Achievement award.

“Tom has become recognized as one of the foremost experts in the science and policy of instream flow. He has been instrumental in building the department’s instream flow program and defining the methods that work well for Wyoming,”  Alan Osterland said, chief of fisheries. “Anglers from Wyoming and nationally have benefited from Tom's hard work.”

Annear’s last day with Game and Fish is Oct. 5.

Photo courtesy of the Casper Star Tribune. 

(Renny MacKay- (307) 777-4594)

- WGFD -

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