CHEYENNE - Game and Fish water management supervisor Tom Annear has received a lifetime achievement award from the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.
The “Lifetime Achievement Award” was established to recognize individuals who over the course of their career have demonstrated the highest level of achievement in fulfilling the department’s mission.
Tom began his Game and Fish career with the department in 1981 researching instream flow methodologies and helping establish the department’s instream flow program. He was promoted to instream flow biologist in 1983 and to instream flow supervisor in 1989. The position, which is stationed in Cheyenne, is now called the water management supervisor.
Throughout his career, Annear has been a leader in coordinating department efforts to secure state-owned instream flow water rights on sections of Wyoming streams to protect fish habitat and angling opportunities for public benefit. Since 1986, Annear and his crew have filed for instream flow water rights on over 130 segments of streams and rivers throughout the state.
Over the course of his career Annear has cultivated strong working relationships with the State Engineer’s Office and Wyoming Water Development Office that has led other agencies to recognizethe importance of water to Wyoming’s fish and wildlife resources. In 1998 he led an effort to establish a professional organization of state and provincial instream flow specialists (the Instream Flow Council) and was that organization’s first president. His work with the Instream Flow Council led him to serve as senior author of two books and co-author of a third that are recognized nationally and internationally as defining texts on the subject of riverine stewardship and directly influence approaches taken in Wyoming. He has been invited to help on instream flow projects in other states, Canada, and Europe and has been invited to speak on instream flows at numerous functions.
In 2012 Annear established the G&F X-Stream Angler program to increase the awareness of Wyoming’s instream flow law and encourage anglers to visit some of the streams where water rights have been secured for public benefit.
Among his other accomplishments for the department are the re-discovery of shovelnose sturgeon in the Powder River and subsequent reintroduction of the species to its native range in the Bighorn River. He has also initiated several cutting-edge research studies of the effects of ice on winter habitat and survival of trout that now make the department a leading national authority in this field. In cooperation with other department employees and other state agencies he has led or assisted with studies to provide aquatic impact assessments on every major water development project in the state since 1983.
Annear is from Coon Rapids, Iowa and attended Iowa State University earning a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife biology in 1975. He later attended Utah State University receiving a master’s degree in aquatic ecology in 1981.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)