Jim Herrig, an aquatic biologist for Cherokee National Forest, was recently recognized in Washington, D.C., for his remarkable work in fish management. He has spent the last 35 years working as a biologist, and the last 26 working in the Cherokee National Forest.
Herrig received the 2012 U.S. Forest Service Rise to the Future award for skilled superiority in the workplace. The award places emphasis on managing fish habitat and angling opportunities. Herrig’s award recognizes him for professional excellence and outstanding contributions to the Rise to the Future initiative.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Herrig said. “It means a great deal to me and recognizes the management efforts we have made in the Cherokee National Forest. It is exciting and rewarding to see our aquatic management program grow.”
He expressed his pride in having worked with many professionals and volunteers to ensure that fish and other aquatic species are here for generations to come.
Since 1987, Herrig has worked in CNF as the forest and fisheries biologist. One of his greatest accomplishments within the organization was his creation of a fish observation program. This program allowed visitors to become educated on fish wildlife while enjoying the hands-on experience of snorkeling.
According to a Cherokee National Forest press release, Herrig was directly responsible for successfully protecting and expanding the habitat of four federally threatened and endangered fish species, including the extremely rare Conasauga logperch. He recently pioneered the successful propagation of native eastern brook trout for reproduction in the wild.
In 1973, Herrig received his bachelor of science degree in wildlife and fisheries science from South Dakota State University. He furthered his education at Colorado State University and received his master of science degree in fisheries science in 1977.
The Cherokee National Forest is located along the Eastern Tennessee border and covers more than 650,000 acres of forest. The Forest Service takes on the responsibility of wilderness care, wildlife and fish environments, water quality, wood products, minerals and outdoor entertainment.