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News Release
Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov

Jan. 29, 2010

Riechers Named TPWD Coastal Fisheries Director

AUSTIN — Following an extensive nationwide search, Robin Riechers has been selected to lead the Coastal Fisheries Division at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Riechers began his career with TPWD in 1988 and has served in various roles within coastal fisheries, most recently as the Science and Policy Director.

Riechers assumes his new position Feb. 1.

"Robin brings a wealth of institutional knowledge about the key issues and challenges facing our state’s coastal fisheries resources," said Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director. "He has demonstrated strong leadership skills and the ability to bring consensus among diverse stakeholder groups."

Riechers has played key roles in coastal fisheries conservation and management during his tenure at TPWD, including development and implementation of commercial fishing limited entry programs for shrimp, crab and finfish credited with resource sustainability. On the recreational fishing side, Riechers helped develop innovative strategies for conservation and management of the state’s spotted seatrout and flounder, and protection of seagrass.

"Our valuable coastal resources are under increasing pressure from a variety of environmental, developmental, and societal factors," said Ross Melinchuk, TPWD Deputy Executive Director for Natural Resources. "Robin Riechers possesses the resource knowledge, leadership skills, and strategic vision necessary to lead the Coastal Fisheries division through these challenging yet exciting times."

Riechers began his career at TPWD as an economist in the Coastal Fisheries Division where he implemented and managed the human dimension program that plays an integral part of the agency’s coastal fisheries policy making today.

"When I stepped into the job here we were known as one of the best conservation resource divisions in the country and we still have that reputation today. Working with the Coastal Fisheries team I want to ensure we continue that legacy," Riechers said. "We have the finest conservation professionals in the nation and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such a consummate group of individuals."

He has represented the department on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council since 2000 and he served as the first ever two term chairman of the Council in 2006 and 2007.

Riechers noted the multitude of challenges facing Texas coastal resources on a regular basis, including natural impacts from storms, freezes, red tide, the ongoing issue of freshwater inflows to keep our bays healthy, and the increased demands and special interests or our users.

"As we see more pressure on the resource from a growing population, our goal is to work closely with the various user groups to ensure a healthy future for Texas coastal resources ," said Riechers. "Our challenge is to effectively manage a limited resource for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Riechers received his Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

SL 2010-01-29


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