Grand Junction Colorado River Fishery Project
Mountain-Prairie Region
Staff

The Colorado River Fishery Project at Grand Junction employs nine full-time staff members and 1-8 seasonal technicians that assist with hatchery and fish-ladder operations as well as data collections efforts on the river.

Permanent staff

 

Dale RydenDale Ryden – Dale began his U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service career in 1990 when he was hired as a seasonal Biological Technician for the Colorado River Fishery Project in Grand Junction, Colorado. After three seasons, he was hired full time as a Fish Biologist and became responsible for overseeing the station’s field activities in the San Juan River basin. Dale's responsibilities have ranged across a number of areas including: 1) augmentation and monitoring of the San Juan River's endangered fish populations; 2) annually monitoring the river-wide distribution and abundance of the large-bodied fish community in the San Juan River; 3) performing and analyzing effects of nonnative fish removals; 4) determining habitat preference and spawning site locations of endangered razorback sucker and Colorado pikeminnow; and 5) surveying Lake Powell for populations of endangered razorback sucker. Dale has spent most of his field career working from rafts and motorized boats in rivers, ponds and lakes of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. From 2011 to 2012, it was Dale’s privilege to supervise both Colorado River Fishery Project field stations (Grand Junction and Vernal, Utah). In January 2012 Dale was hired as the Project Leader for the newly re-organized Grand Junction Fisheries Office, which consists of the Colorado River Fishery Project and Ouray National Fish Hatchery – Grand Valley Unit. Dale is also the USFWS representative to the Biology Committee of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and USFWS Region 6 representative to the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (SJRBRIP). Dale has published two peer-reviewed journal articles on his work in the San Juan River basin along with authoring over 35 agency reports, six species augmentation plans, and a genetics management plan. He has been a contributing author on both the flow recommendations report for the reoperation of Navajo Reservoir and the long-term monitoring protocols document currently being used by the SJRBRIP.

Literature >>

 

Thad Bingham incubates razorback sucker eggs at the 24-Road Fish Hatchery. Photo by J. Hock.

Thad Bingham– After completion of his Bachelor of Science, Thad was hired as a seasonal Biological Technician for the CRFP from 1997 to 1999. Later in 1999, Thad was hired as a full-time Fish Biologist. Along with Brian Scheer, his primary responsibilities include management of captive reared razorback sucker broodstock and an annual production and distribution of 15,000 intensively reared razorback sucker. Thad has also developed improved spawning and rearing techniques for intensively reared razorback sucker.

 

Brian Scheer holds a net full of razorback sucker reared at the 24-Road Fish Hatchery. Photo by J. Hock.Brian Scheer – Brian began his career with the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1987 as a seasonal/temporary cold-water fish culturist. In 1996, upon completion of his Bachelor of Science degree, Brian started work with the Grand Junction CRFP as a Biological Technician. Brian then went to work for the Colorado Division of Wildlife as a full-time cold water fish culturist in 1999. In 2003 Brian was hired as a Fish Biologist for the Grand Junction CRFP. Along with Thad Bingham, his primary responsibilities include the management and operation of the CRFP 24-Road Endangered Species Fish Hatchery. This includes management of captive reared razorback sucker broodstock and an annual production and distribution of 15,000 intensively reared razorback sucker.

 

Travis FrancisTravis Francis – Travis has worked 12 years performing fisheries research and management in the Colorado, Gunnison and San Juan rivers.  He began work for the Grand Junction field office in 2003 as a seasonal Biological Science Technician. He became a full time Fisheries Technician in 2004 and served as a Crew Leader for various station projects.  Since 2006, Travis has served as a Fish Biologist performing fisheries research and management associated with the Upper Colorado River Recovery Program (UCRRP) and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (SJRIP).  During his involvement with both programs, Travis’ responsibilities have ranged across a number of areas including: 1) Database manager for the UCRRP, 2) humpback chub population monitoring in Black Rocks on the Colorado River, 3) razorback sucker monitoring on the San Juan arm of Lake Powell, 4) non-native centrarchid removal on the Colorado River, 5) fish ladder operation on the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers,  6) razorback sucker propagation at the Ouray National Fish Hatchery -- Grand Valley Unit and, 7) leading field crews for other projects associated with the UCCRP and SJRIP.

 

Ben SchleicherBen Schleicher – Ben started his Fish and Wildlife Service career with Grand Junction CRFP in March 2010 as a seasonal Biological Science Technician where he assisted biologists with field data collection in the Colorado, Gunnison, Yampa, Green, and San Juan Rivers.  In May of 2011, he became a Crew Leader overseeing field crews collecting data for numerous projects. In July of 2012, he became a full time Fish Biologist and now oversees all CRFP field studies in the San Juan River basin.  These studies include yearly monitoring of the large-bodied fish community and the control of problematic populations of invasive fish species.  He works closely with a variety of agencies and offices, including: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Bureau of Indian Affairs; and the Navajo Nation.  He is one of the principal investigators for the razorback sucker survey taking place on Lake Powell.  In addition to his field studies, he also performs several other collateral duties for the CRFP office.

 

Emily buchananEmily Buchanan – Emily is responsible for providing and managing a variety of administrative activities essential to the direction and operation of the Project. She administers the annual budget, oversees purchasing, is responsible for payroll for station personnel, initiates personnel actions, prepares travel vouchers and assists employees on various administrative matters. She serves as the office computer network administrator and provides training and assistance on numerous complex software programs and hardware components.

 

Mike GrossMike Gross – Mike received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Biology with Aquaculture option from Humboldt State University in 2003. During college and shortly after graduation, he worked for Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission participating in salmon and rockfish surveys off the Northern California coast, surveying anglers and retrieving coded wire tags from hatchery-raised salmon. In 2003, Mike and his family moved to Grand Junction and began working on various fisheries-related projects for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. He performed extensive analyses of fish otoliths, documenting age structure of fish populations from throughout the state. Mike was also involved in identifying zooplankton trends in many Colorado reservoirs and had the opportunity to co-author a Zooplankton Compendium while working for CDOW. In 2008, Mike began working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has proven himself to be a valuable asset to the endangered fish recovery program. Based out of the Ouray National Fish Hatchery -- Grand Valley Unit, Mike uses his aquaculture background propagating, rearing, and stocking endangered fish. He is also deeply involved in many of the educational outreach events around the Grand Valley and prides himself on helping future generations learn about native ecosystems, endangered species, and the importance of conservation efforts.

 

Brendan CrowleyBrendan Crowley – Brendan began working with the CRFP as a Biological Science Technician in 2009 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation. Brendan started his fisheries career in Yellowstone National Park working with westslope cutthroat trout. After working with the CRFP, U.S. Forest Service, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on a seasonal basis, he was hired full time by CRFP in 2012 to serve as a Crew Leader. His duties include leading field crews for a variety of studies throughout the Colorado River drainage, assisting biologists at the Ouray National Fish Hatchery – Grand Valley Unit, operating and maintaining fish ladders on the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, and assisting with database management for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program.

 

Doug OsmundsonDoug Osmundson - Graduate studies in Aquatic Ecology at Utah State University brought Doug to Grand Junction in 1983 to study largemouth bass predation on Colorado pikeminnow. He was hired as a Fish Biologist by the CRFP in 1986. His earlier studies included: experimental use of flooded gravel-pits as grow-out ponds for hatchery-produced Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker and radiotelemetry of Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker to determine spawning movements and patterns of seasonal habitat use. His evaluation of effects of river regulation on maintenance of habitats critical to Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker in the Colorado River led to development of flow recommendations for the upper Colorado River. From 1991 to the present, Doug has monitored status and trends of adult Colorado pikeminnow in the upper Colorado River, working with Dr. Kenneth Burnham and Dr. Gary White at Colorado State University to develop annual estimates of population abundance, recruitment, and adult survival rate. Doug’s studies have also included experimentally removing largemouth bass from river backwaters, monitoring embeddedness of cobble-gravel substrates, studying life-history attributes of Colorado pikeminnow (growth, longevity, sex-ratio, generation time, age-at-first-maturity, sexual size dimorphism, etc.), evaluating reproduction of stocked razorback sucker, and linking upstream range limits of Colorado pikeminnow to riverine thermal regimes. Doug is certified by the Ecological Society of America as a Senior Ecologist, and has published in the Journal of Fish Biology, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Ecological Applications, and River Research and Applications. He currently serves as a member of the Colorado pikeminnow Recovery Team.

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Last updated: July 5, 2013