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2017 Awardee

HOLLAND, MICH - The Michigan Steelhead & Salmon Fishermen's Association has awarded Dr. Daniel O'Keefe with the Dr. Howard A. Tanner Award for his contributions to Michigan's sport fishery.

Dr. O'Keefe, Grand Haven, MI, is the Southwest District Extension Educator for Sea Grant MSU Extension Servicing located in Ottawa County and serves eight counties along the coast of Lake Michigan. Dan graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's of science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife. He received his master's in biology at Central Michigan University and his doctorate in Wildlife and Fisheries from Mississippi State University.

"Dan O'Keefe believes education is a critical component of natural resource management and the importance of knowledge in making sound decisions has been the comer stone of his contributions to our anadromous sport fishery", said Dennis Eade, Executive Director of the Michigan Steelheaders.

O'Keefe is responsible for citizen science programs like Salmon Ambassadors and Great Lakes Angler Diary. He published a study of charter and tournament fishing economic impacts and post-study evaluation that indicated results that led to greater appreciation for the value of a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem. He compiled public input on controversial issues using TuningPoint and online surveys; coordinated with Michigan DNR regarding fisheries issues in preparation for basin wide management plans. He also served on a Michigan House of Representatives' committee regarding Asian carp and other invasive species.

As the facilitator for the Ludington Fisheries Workshops each year, he has brought together fisheries managers, biologists, scientists, state and federal agency personnel, charter fishing captains and sport fishermen alike to contemplate what is occurring in the ecosystem and what will impact the sustainability or our anadromous sport fishery.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Howard A. Tanner who is credited with the creation of a Lake Michigan sport fishery and the 7.1 billion dollar industry it has become. Dr. Tanner was on hand for the award ceremony in Lansing on March 25th at the Michigan Historical Center.

The Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen's Association is the largest sport fishing association in the Great Lakes Basin and has fourteen chapters throughout Michigan which protect, promote and enhance sport fishing in the Great Lakes and connecting waterways.