MNR biologist gets award

Duane Hicks

A local management biologist was recognized last month for his work with sturgeon over many years.
Darryl McLeod, fisheries manager with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Fort Frances, was the recipient of the Kallemeyn Award, which was announced March 12 during a banquet at the 10th-annual International Rainy-Lake of Woods Watershed Forum in International Falls.
McLeod was recognized his collaborative work on Rainy Lake lake sturgeon, as well as his work to refine the long-term fisheries assessment protocols for the MNR on sturgeon ecology and the recovery of walleye on Rainy Lake.
He has been involved in several lake sturgeon investigations over the past 20 years, including Seine River (1993-95), Rainy Lake (2002-2005, 2008-09), and the Namakan River and reservoir (2006-13).
McLeod told the Times on Monday that the award “means so much” to him because it is a peer recognition award, and is named after “a friend and colleague that [he] had the pleasure of working with across the border for so many years.”
He collaborated with Larry Kallemeyn on numerous international projects from about 1984 until his retirement from Voyageurs National Park and the U.S. Geological Survey in 2008, McLeod noted.
He added he also had the pleasure of working with many other staff from the MNR, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Voyageurs National Park, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service, as well as academia from both sides of the border.
“I share this award with all these colleagues as they were true leaders, contributors, and educators,” McLeod remarked.
“I was just lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with and learn from all of them,” he noted.
“It is a privilege to work closely with these folks—too many to mention—and I can’t imagine working anywhere that does not have an international border,” added McLeod.
“This is why Rainy-Lake of the Woods basin ecosystem is the very best place to work!”
McLeod has enjoyed the support and encouragement he’s received from his managers, supervisors, and co-workers at the MNR over the past 32 years, adding without their support, many of the collaborative monitoring and research projects would not have been possible.
McLeod also thanked the award committee and those who may have been involved with his nomination.
McLeod was unable to attend the forum and banquet in person but MNR district manager Greg Chapman received a plaque on McLeod’s behalf, as well as a carved fish—shortjaw cisco—made by Bev Clark, a retired Ministry of Environment employee.
Dyke Williams, a resident of Seagull Lake, Mn. and Kenora, Ont., meanwhile, received the Wilson Award in recognition of a number of activities, including his long-time service to the Quetico Superior Foundation.
Williams also was honored for his commitment and promotion of youth education in areas of water and the natural environment.