At its annual Business Meeting held on April 4 at the 72 nd Annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, the Northeastern Division of the American Fisheries Society (NED) presented Stephen Gephard with the NED President’s Award. Steve is a Supervising Fisheries Biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Inland Fisheries Division (DEEP IFD), overseeing the Diadromous Fisheries Program and the Habitat Conservation and Enhancement Program. Throughout his 30+ year career with DEEP IFD, Steve has given a strong voice to diadromous fish across the state, region, nation and world, and has worked and continues to work fervently for the benefit of the species he manages.
Steve has worked tirelessly with federal and state agencies, local governments, NGO’s and the private sector on fish passage projects; these efforts have led to the construction of over 50 fish passage structures and numerous dam removals in Connecticut, restoring access for diadromous fish to hundreds of miles of historic habitat. Steve has also served in numerous leadership and advisory roles in scientific organizations devoted to the conservation and management of diadromous fish species, and has served on a multitude of graduate degree committees, helping to foster the next generation of diadromous fish scientists and co-authoring numerous scientific articles. Steve has been a mentor and adviser to countless seasonal employees over the years, inspiring them with his contagious passion for diadromous fishes and protection of rivers. Last but not least, Steve has been a member of AFS since 1976, and regularly attends and contributes to meetings at the Chapter, Division, and Society level.