Local FWP Manager Receives Special Conservation Achievement Award

By Beacon Staff

Jim Vashro, the Region 1 fisheries manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, was recently recognized for his extensive work over the last 30 years across Northwest Montana.

The Montana Wildlife Federation awarded Vashro the Special Conservation Achievement Award at the MWF’s 77th annual meeting April 28 in Helena.

Vashro, from Kalispell, has been the fisheries manager in Northwest Montana for over 30 years. Some of his major accomplishments include establishing family fishing ponds across Northwest Montana; organizing and leading education activities with kids; developing new fishing access sites including Pine Grove Pond and Lake Five; crusading against illegal fish introductions; and establishing 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,” Region One Supervisor Jim Satterfield said in a statement. “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 also helped establish relationships with sporting groups around Northwest Montana, the FWP said.

“Jim’s efforts have touched the lives of many children and their families,” MWF President Tim Aldrich said during the award ceremony. “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.”