Great Lakes Award Goes to Former Sturgeon Bay DNR Supervisor

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission honored Mark Holey with the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Award for Fostering Great Lakes Partnerships during the commission’s recent 62nd annual meeting in Duluth, Minn.

The award, which the commission presents annually, recognized Holey for developing and leveraging partnerships across the Great Lakes basin to help fishery managers meet key management needs and objectives in the upper Great Lakes and for initiating efforts to support deepwater coregonid (i.e., whitefish, cisco, chubs) re-introduction in Lake Ontario.

Holey’s recognition that strong, lasting and effective partnerships are critical for success has been evident throughout his entire career, which has spanned nearly four decades, and includes serving as supervisor of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Sturgeon Bay fisheries station in 1983, a post he held for nine years, before joining the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service in 1992 to open the Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in New Franken.

Commissioner Tom Melius, the Midwest Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, presented Holey with the Besadny Award, named for Buzz Besadny, a Kewaunee native and former member of the commission, a former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (1980-92), and a strong supporter of the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries.

“Mr. Holey personifies Buzz Besadny’s philosophy that partnerships are the path to great things in Great Lakes fisheries.”

Melius said. “Mr. Holey has served as chair of the Lake Michigan Technical Committee for 15 years, and during his tenure, he has built trust among the members in addressing the Chinook fishery collapse in the late 1980s, the yellow perch fishery collapse in the 1990s, and investigations into the impacts of low thiamine on lake trout reproduction. The ongoing effectiveness of the Salmonid Working Group, Yellow Perch Task Group, and regular thiamine monitoring are a testimony to Mr. Holey’s leadership on those challenging files.”

Melius continued: “Throughout his career, Mr. Holey has performed all of his duties with a great appreciation for others’ views and the realization that by working together, the proverbial whole will be worth much more than the sum of the parts. These are but a few examples of Mark’s commitment to his work and his understanding that it takes others to get the job done. The Great Lakes community is fortunate to have to have him on the team and the fishery is better and stronger for it,” concluded Commissioner Melius.

Dennis Hickey, commercial fisherman from Bailey’s Harbor, was the first recipient of the Besadny partnership award in 2000.

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