Mark Fowden (L) Chief of Fisheries and Dirk Miller (R) Assistant Chief of Fisheries
CHEYENNE - For the first time in 16 years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has a new chief of fisheries. Thirty-four-year department veteran Mark Fowden was promoted to take over the duties June 1.
Fowden has served as the assistant chief of fisheries since July 2001. He began his Game and Fish career on the Reservoir Research Crew in Casper and then transferred to a fish population biologist position in Laramie in June 1982. He was promoted to fisheries supervisor in Green River in October 1987 and to aquatic habitat supervisor in October 1996 before his promotion to assistant chief of fisheries.
“Mark clearly has the knowledge and experience as well as leadership style and abilities to lead the Fish Division as we address the multitude of challenges currently facing us,” said Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott. “I never cease to be impressed by Mark’s positive and professional outlook.”
Fowden earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in fisheries management from the University of Wyoming. In 1989, he was named the department’s “Fish Division Employee of the Year,” and received the “Director’s Award” in 1993 and the “Award of Excellence” from the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the American Fisheries Society in 2002.
Fowden takes over the helm of the division with 88 permanent and 68 seasonal employees from Mike Stone, who retired May 18 after 39 years of Game and Fish service.
Becoming the new assistant chief of fisheries is Dirk Miller. He has served as the fisheries management coordinator since July 2004, overseeing the department’s aquatic wildlife management. Miller began his Game and Fish career as a fish population supervisor in Laramie in March 1988 and was promoted to assistant fisheries management coordinator in September 1996.
“Dirk’s expertise in managing budgets, his insights into the challenges facing aquatic resources statewide, and his comprehensive perspective of aquatic biology make him a great selection for the position,” Fowden said.
Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s in fishery biology from Colorado State University. Among many honors, he received the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the American Fisheries Society “Award of Excellence” in 2009 and the American Fisheries Society “Distinguished Service Award” in 2002.
The division manages Wyoming’s streams, lakes, and reservoirs along with operating seven hatcheries and three rearing stations. In addition to helping establish Wyoming as one of the premier fishing destinations in the West, the division is working hard to better understand the distribution and conservation status of all native fishes, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, and crustaceans.
(Contact: Jeff Obrecht (307) 777-4532)