Jim Vashro with a young angler at Pine Grove Pond
Region 1 Fisheries Manager Jim Vashro of Kalispell has received the Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF) Special Conservation Achievement Award. The MWF presented the award to Vashro at their 77th annual meeting last Saturday, April 28 in Helena.
The award recognized Vashro’s extensive contributions to the fisheries resource and to education in Northwest Montana. Vashro has been the Fisheries Manager in Northwest Montana for more than 30 years. Some of his major accomplishments include: establishing Family Fishing Ponds across northwest Montana, education activities with kids and women, new Fishing Access Sites including Pine Grove Pond and Lake Five, crusading against illegal fish introductions, and wilderness regulations in the South Fork Flathead River.
“Over the course of his career, Jim has probably taught more kids to fish than anyone else in the state,” says Region One Supervisor Jim Satterfield. “Also, anyone who has cast a line in northwest Montana is indebted to Jim’s tireless fish management efforts.”
Vashro has been a recognized leader in the area of family fishing ponds (most recently Pine Grove Pond) and youth angling education. He has been an outstanding liaison to sporting groups around northwest Montana.
“Jim is very deserving of this award,” says Flathead Wildlife, Inc. President Chuck Hunt. “He’s devoted countless hours promoting youth fishing programs to make sure kids today have the opportunities to get outdoors and appreciate fishing and natural resources.”
In presenting the award, MWF President Tim Aldrich said the following:
“Jim’s efforts have touched the lives of many children and their families. He has established urban fisheries at Buffalo Head Pond, Shady Lane Pond, Dry Bridge Pond, Troy Pond and Ninepipe Pond. He’s developed handicapped accessible facilities at Smith Lake, Shady Land Pond and Snappy’s Sport Senter. The scope of these efforts and the results achieved for people and sport fishing are truly exemplary.”