Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award
Richard St. Pierre
Richard St. Pierre, a fisheries biologist with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, who for the last 23 years has played a key role in efforts to restore American shad to the Susquehanna River basin, has been named the recipient of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) highest honor. St. Pierre, of Millerstown, Perry County, was presented the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award at an evening reception January 23 at PFBC headquarters in Harrisburg.
Since 1982, St. Pierre has served as the Fish & Wildlife Service’s Susquehanna River Fisheries Coordinator. In that capacity he managed and directed a complex multistate-federal-utility anadromous fish restoration program, chaired technical committees, served on fish passage advisory committees, prepared annual reports and work plans, and managed the budget and database. He led negotiations for four settlement agreements with utility companies on shad population rebuilding, fish passage and flow issues. From 1996 to 2004, he chaired the Chesapeake Bay Program's interagency Fish Passage Workgroup and served as a member of the Bay Program’s Living Resources Subcommittee.
Over the years he has taken his expertise far beyond the Susquehanna River, assisting in a Fish & Wildlife Service International Affairs program with nations such as China, Russia, Italy, France and Iceland.
After earning a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marine Biology from Florida Atlantic University in 1969, St. Pierre went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Fisheries Science at the University of Virginia. He began his professional career as an Assistant Marine Scientist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point, VA. In 1977, he became Assistant Area Manager for the Fish & Wildlife Service before moving into the role that became the hallmark of his career.
St. Pierre is married for 36 years to his wife Peggy. Together they have two grown sons.
“Dick has made substantial and unique contributions to the very essence of the Fish and Boat Commission, that being the shad restoration program. Dick’s work is recognized world-wide as a hallmark of achievement and professionalism,” said Commission Executive Director Douglas Austen.