California Trout recently awarded the Joe Paul Award to Tom Weseloh — CalTrout’s North Coast Region Manager for over 20 years.
This award, which is CalTrout’s highest honor, acknowledges an individual’s lifetime achievement in protecting and restoring wild trout and steelhead.
Thomas Weseloh on the Trinity River
According to Gary Arabian, CalTrout Board Member of over 15 years, “Because of Tom’s passionate commitment to our mission and his dedication and complete focus on the fish, today many of the rivers and streams on the North Coast have healthier populations of steelhead and salmon than when he began his work for us 20 years ago.“
Tom’s many achievements include the following:
- Instituted the Steelhead Report Card in 1992, a program that provides substantial money for steelhead monitoring and restoration projects
- Advocated for the Steelhead Restoration & Management Plan for the State of California
- Helped develop a coho recovery strategy and led a 10-year effort to have coho salmon added to the California Endangered Species list
- Facilitated the renewal of the Fish and Game Commission Wild Trout Program and Heritage Trout Program through passage of AB 7
- Was a strong presence in Sacramento, meeting with stakeholders to secure funding for CalTrout initiatives and passage of important bills
- Served as a key member of the California Advisory Committee on Salmon & Steelhead Trout, recommending state fund allocation
- Secured the flow regimes that brought back the Trinity River’s salmonid populations through the 2000 Record of Decision, as well as served as a Board Member for Friends of the Trinity River
- Worked closely with the Smith River Advisory Council and the Smith River Alliance in acquiring and/or protecting thousands of acres within the Smith River Watershed
Tom always stayed focused on CalTrout’s mission and as he has told so many of us, “It’s all about the fish and the work we do to protect them.”
Great job Tom. Your accomplishments are inspiring. Thanks for your work!!