For Immediate Release
May 13, 1999

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404/679-7291

Former Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Inducted Into
National Fish Culture Hall of Fame

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Ralph J. Tritt, USFWS

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A former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, the late Ralph J. Tritt

of Suches, Georgia, will be inducted into the American Fisheries Society's National Fish Culture Hall of Fame on May 16, 1999, in Spearfish, South Dakota. Tritt is the first professional biological technician to receive this prestigious honor.

"The Service's Southeast Region is extremely pleased with the selection of Ralph Tritt for this great honor," said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service's Southeast Regional Director. "His diligence and patience in teaching fellow fish culturists the art and science of fish culture sets a standard for all of our employees to follow," Hamilton said. Fish culturists breed and raise fish in a captive environment, such as a hatchery.

Tritt began his career at the Service's Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery in Suches on

November 28, 1956. He retired on March 3, 1989, after 32 years of federal service. Tritt spent his entire career at that facility.

"He was often a person to whom other federal and state hatchery managers turned when they encountered difficulties on their hatcheries," said Columbus Brown, the Service's Southeast Program Assistant Regional Director for Fisheries. "His first-hand knowledge of fish culture was unsurpassed, having been acquired through countless hours of working with and studying cultured fish."

"With determination, persistence, and modesty, Tritt taught others the art and science of fish culture," continued Brown. "Culturists, young and old, soon learned to read the needs and conditions of fish, a valuable skill. His tireless and unselfish efforts produced a cadre of talented fishery biologists whose leadership and contributions continue to benefit modern fish culture and the National Fish Hatchery System," he said.

The Fish Culture Hall of Fame was established in 1985 by the Fish Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society. The Hall of Fame is housed at the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, South Dakota. Honorees are elected into the Hall of Fame by the membership of the American Fisheries Society Fish Culture Section.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprising more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries and 78 Ecological Services field offices. The agency administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, enforces federal wildlife laws, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.

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Release #:R99-041


1999 News Releases

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