Fishing association honors FWC marine fisheries employee for conservation work
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943
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The Florida Guides Association on June 18 honored Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff member Jim Estes for his conservation efforts.
Capt. Pat Kelly, Florida Guides Association president, presented Estes, who is an FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management employee, with the Capt. Phil Chapman Conservation Award at a Commission meeting in Fort Myers.
Estes has been a leader in conservation with the FWC for more than 28 years, working in freshwater fisheries for 26 and recently seeking new challenges and opportunities with saltwater fisheries, where he has already made a significant impact. An avid angler, he is dedicated to managing Florida’s resources for the benefit of anglers and helping the people who care about fish, including co-workers, said Jessica McCawley, director of the FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management.
“Jim is a prime example of leadership at its best,” McCawley said. “He not only inspires staff at all levels to be stewards of conservation, he also motivates them to exceed their goals.”
Estes’ many accomplishments include research and management of Florida bass as well as research and management of hydrilla and its effect on sport fish populations, and the creation and development of the FWC’s statewide Long Term Monitoring program for lakes and rivers. He has provided invaluable leadership in freshwater fisheries research, leading a statewide effort to improve the agency’s sampling design. Forward-thinking, he has also acted as a mentor to graduate students and young FWC biologists. Since his move to Marine Fisheries Management, Estes has taken the lead on critical management issues dealing with Apalachicola Bay oysters and lionfish.
“Jim’s efforts and leadership in the recent Apalachicola Bay oyster disaster have been invaluable,” McCawley said. “He excels at working with stakeholders and finding solutions that benefit both the resource and the fishermen who depend upon that resource. We are lucky to have him.”