MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to announce that Coldwater Fisheries Research Scientist, Dr. Matthew Mitro, was awarded Fisheries Biologist of the Year by the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) at their annual meeting earlier this year.
This award is given to an individual who has shown “unparalleled initiative towards the better understanding of fishes and their conservation.” There is no better way to describe Dr. Mitro and his extensive 19 years of fisheries research with the DNR. His work focuses on inland trout species, and he has been essential to many trout projects, including:
- long-term trout and stream habitat monitoring study
- research on gill lice infecting brook trout
- contributing to the trout and beaver management plans
- protocol development for age estimation in brown trout and brook trout
- modeling changes in stream temperature and trout distribution in response to climate change
“I always had a personal interest in trout, as trout were one of the first fish I ever fished for as a kid,” said Dr. Mitro. “They are beautiful fish. They have a fascinating life history and are important indicators of wider environmental health.”
Dr. Mitro is currently focusing on a statewide project investigating the influence of beavers on trout populations and habitat in streams. He is also evaluating the survival and reproductive fitness of different strains of stocked brook trout in streams, and temporal trends in trout, stream temperature and flow.
Dr. Mitro is a member of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) Fisheries Working Group and was instrumental in the first WICCI assessment, with trout at the forefront. He also served as co-chair for the group. Dr. Mitro is heavily involved with Trout Unlimited and the Fishers and Farmers Fish Habitat Partnership. He also serves as an officer for the Wild Trout Symposium and participates in the annual Driftless Area Symposium.
More information on Dr. Mitro’s current trout projects can be found on the DNR Fisheries Research webpage.