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Posted June 10 , 2013

Conservation Award

Carleton researcher receives 2013 Canadian Wildlife Federation Award

Ottawa - Carleton University’s Steven J. Cooke, associate professor of Environmental Science and Biology, is the recipient of The Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) 2013 Roderick Haig-Brown Conservation Award. This award recognizes an individual’s contribution to conservation and wise use of recreational fisheries in Canada.

“This award is close to my heart given my immense respect for its namesake, Roderick Haig-Brown, and his commitment to connecting people to the Canadian environment,” said Cooke. “To be recognized by the Canadian Wildlife Federation is humbling given the number of Canadians that work tirelessly as stewards of the outdoors every day. I share this award with the many students, collaborators and partners with whom I share a passion for responsible recreational fishing.”

Cooke has an international reputation for his work on catch-and-release practices. He is a firm believer that science-based guidelines for recreational fisheries can often be delivered through education rather than regulation. As an educator, he takes his fourth-year fish ecology class fishing so that they can better understand angler-fish interactions. As president of the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of the American Fisheries Society, he is co-ordinating a book project to document the science and management of Canadian inland fisheries, including regional status reports, threat assessments and management strategies. His work extends beyond Canadian borders as he also recently co-authored technical guidelines for recreational fishing for the United Nations.

“The angling community in Canada is constantly engaged in habitat and reports first-hand knowledge of wildlife issues,” said Wade Luzny, CWF executive vice-president. “To have Dr. Cooke promoting best practices to the folks in the field is a perfect example of science and recreation coming together.”

CWF’s awards program accepts nominations year-round in eight categories. Cooke will be joining seven other award-winners in Victoria ranging from youth, biologists, artists, national legislators and others to celebrate achievements in conservation.

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