Megan McLean makes Game and Fish history as the first woman superintendent of a hatchery
Portrait of Megan McLean in front of an evergreen tree.

Megan McLean’s goal was to become a hatchery superintendent since she chose a career in fish culture. McLean accomplished that goal and also made history with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. McLean was promoted to superintendent at the Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery in the spring and took over those duties in mid-July. She is the first woman to be in charge of a Game and Fish-operated hatchery or rearing station.

“I’m excited about it and was really shocked that I got it,” McLean said. “I’m hoping we can get more women involved in these positions. I’m happy to get the promotion and excited to get to work.

McLean started her career with Game and Fish in 2007 as a technician at the Auburn Hatchery. After some time at Idaho Fish and Game, McLean returned to Auburn as a fish culturist in 2010. She was promoted to senior fish culturist at the Dan Speas Fish Hatchery in Casper in 2014 and transferred to the Tillett Springs Rearing Station near Lovell in 2018.

“I’ve worked with some really good superintendents and really inspiring people,” McLean said. “I look up to those people and really wanted to be like and emulate them.”

Those people include longtime Auburn superintendent Ed Berry, who retired this year after 36 years at Game and Fish. Two others are current Game and Fish hatchery superintendents: Lars Alsager at Speas and Brad Welch at Tillett.

“Every superintendent I worked with has been good at providing information about different things, keeping me on the right track and helping me to understand different aspects of how the department works — along with leadership,” McLean said.

McLean replaces Joe Gillis at Ten Sleep, who recently transferred.

McLean said she’s happy to be back in a hatchery environment at Ten Sleep where there is more work with fish eggs compared to rearing stations. She also looks forward to working with the Yellowstone cutthroat trout broodstock at Ten Sleep. McLean did similar work at Auburn with the Snake River cutthroat broodstock. A broodstock consists of adult fish that provide eggs and sperm for rearing. Eggs may also be transferred to other hatcheries around the state.

“Megan has done an outstanding job within the fish culture section and the department over her entire career,” said Guy Campbell, Game and Fish fish culture supervisor. “Megan possesses excellent leadership skills, is a team player and a very detail-oriented individual. She has made a big impact at every facility she has worked at, including the overall success of the kokanee captive broodstock program at Tillett. We are excited to see Megan serve in her new role.”

This story, written by Wyoming Game and Fish Department staff, originally appeared in the August 2023 issue of Wyoming Wildlife magazine.

Breanna Ball
Public Information Officer

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