Don Pereira, a 30-year fisheries research and management veteran, has been selected as the new fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). His new duties begin Wednesday, Nov. 20.
“Don brings a breadth of valuable experience to this important job,” said Ed Boggess, Fish and Wildlife Division director. “His experience as a researcher, supervisor and policy manager and his focus on better incorporating the desires and interests of anglers into fisheries programs will help us continue to deliver fish population, recreation and aquatic habitat results that positively serve Minnesota citizens, natural resources and local economies.”
Pereira, a Cottage Grove, Minn. resident, has been the DNR’s fisheries research and policy manager since 2007. In addition to managing the agencies fisheries research functions, he has played a key role in policy and management issues including cormorants at Leech Lake and a number of large lake management challenges. He has been a leader for improving public engagement and application of social data to fisheries management.
Pereira will oversee a $30 million annual fisheries section budget and a staff of 290 full-time and part-time employees. With personnel based in four regional offices, 28 area offices and five hatcheries, the fisheries section carries out research and management programs affecting state fish species and habitat.
Fishing is big business in Minnesota. Direct angler expenditures in Minnesota total $2.4 billion and support 35,000 jobs, according to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. About 28 percent of Minnesotans go fishing, double the national average.
Pereira is a graduate of the University of Vermont and has advanced degrees in fisheries from the University of Minnesota. He is the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and technical reports. He replaces Dirk Peterson, who retired in October.