DNR Research Scientist Named Fisheries Biologist of the Year

MADISON, Wisconsin. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to announce that Coldwater Fisheries Research Scientist Dr. Matthew Mitro has been awarded Fishery Biologist of the Year by the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, MAFWA) at their annual meeting earlier this year.

This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated “unparalleled initiative towards a better understanding of fish 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 has been essential to many trout projects, including:

  • long-term monitoring study of trout and stream habitat
  • research on gill lice infecting brook trout
  • contributing to trout and beaver management plans
  • development of protocols for age estimation in brown trout and brook trout
  • modeling changes in stream temperatures and trout distribution in response to climate change

“I have always had a personal interest in trout, as trout was one of the first fish I caught as a child,” said Dr. Mitro. “They are beautiful fish. They have a fascinating life history and are important indicators of broader environmental health.”

Dr. Mitro is currently focusing on a statewide project investigating the influence of beavers on trout populations and stream habitat. He is also evaluating the survival and reproductive fitness of different strains of brook trout stocked in streams, and temporal trends in trout, temperature, and stream flow.

Dr. Mitro is a member of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) Fisheries Task Force and was instrumental in the first WICCI assessment, with trout at the forefront. He also served as co-chairman of the group. Dr. Mitro is heavily involved with Trout Unlimited and the Fishers and Farmers Fish Habitat Partnership. He also serves as the Wild Trout Symposium Officer and participates in the annual Area Driftless Symposium.

More information on Dr. Mitro’s current trout projects can be found on the DNR Fisheries Research web page.