TWRA Fisheries Division Announces Annual Honors

Thursday, December 8, 2016
John Hammonds (holding plaque) is the Fisheries Biologist of the Year. Pictured (from left) are TFWC Chairman Harold Cannon, Fisheries Chief Frank Fiss, TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter, John Hammonds, and Region IV Fisheries Program Coordinator Bart Carter.
John Hammonds (holding plaque) is the Fisheries Biologist of the Year. Pictured (from left) are TFWC Chairman Harold Cannon, Fisheries Chief Frank Fiss, TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter, John Hammonds, and Region IV Fisheries Program Coordinator Bart Carter.

John Hammonds and Perry Massengill have been honored by being named the Fisheries Division’s biologist of the year and fisheries technician of the year, respectively.

Mr. Hammonds is the Reservoir Operations coordinator in TWRA Region IV. Mr. Massengil serves as a Technician 2 for the Region III reservoir fisheries crew.

Mr. Hammonds has been with the agency for 12 years, where he has served as a reservoir biologist prior to moving into his current position. As the coordinator for Reservoir Operations, he is responsible for fisheries programs focusing on fisheries data collection, and habitat improvements. 

Mr. Hammonds has made efforts in developing and implementing innovative reservoir habitat management projects and assisting on aquatic nuisance species issues.  He has administered and secured reservoir funding opportunities for the agency and addressing habitat permitting for area reservoirs. He has played a key role in securing in funding to assist with cooperative projects regarding reservoir habitat enhancement and shoreline vegetation management in regional reservoirs.

His efforts over the last year have led to the expansion of the habitat enhancement project within TWRA and developed a new level of cooperation in managing East Tennessee reservoirs. He has worked to prevent the spread of the invasive zebra mussels from a quarry used by recreational divers.

Mr. Hammonds has continued to act as the chair for the Outreach Committee of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. He has always been willing to assist other work units and regularly helps out with harvesting hatchery ponds, stream surveys, public programs, and administrative support. He has also recently been involved with a trout in the classroom project in his hometown of Newport and conducts a stream side ecology program for a local school every year. 

Mr. Massengill has served the TWRA for 20 years. In addition to performing a variety of fish survey work, he is also entrusted with the task of entering and organizing most of the data. He displays a sincere commitment to Tennessee’s anglers which is evident in his willingness to go above and beyond on various projects.  

Mr. Massengill works to help educate the next generation of anglers, and has teamed with his colleagues to conduct workshops with local high school fishing teams. These workshops show young anglers how aquatic nuisance species move and how to check their boats.

Mr. Massengill served on an advisory board for Rhea County High School to help develop job descriptions for wildlife and fisheries management careers. He also participated in Earth Day activities in Rhea County. He has an active role with the Annual Chuck Copeland Memorial Fishing Rodeo, which is one of the largest events in the state.  He also takes a lead in planning the event, arranges for special guests, and works on prizes and donations. 

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