Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region 3 fisheries technician of the year has been awarded to Rob Theurer.
Mr. Theurer has worked for the agency for over 23 years. He started as a technician at the agency’s Normandy hatchery. His original goal was to work for fisheries and move to law enforcement. However, after some time with fisheries he was hooked. He moved to the Tellico Hatchery in 1998 and has been there since. He said, “We’re a team here. We all look for ways to improve operations and implement suggestions towards those improvements.”
Mr. Theurer is known as a handyman and has built many of the implements used at the hatchery including the hatchery’s fish loading implement. Jon Ellis, the Tellico Hatchery manager said, “Rob possesses many valuable trade skills which allow him to perform tasks that would otherwise have to be outsourced. His fabrication skills have resulted in the construction of a more efficient water intake system, which has ultimately reduced the labor required to provide adequate water flow into the hatchery and decreased the risk of fish kills.”
Mr. Theurer also designed and constructed a hatchery stock truck bed, which increased the efficiency of stocking efforts, as well as the safety of hatchery crew members. He is currently helping to design and construct low head oxygenators, and degassing columns for raceways. He similarly aided in the design and completion of a new intake structure. He also designed and constructed an elevated cat-walk that allows cleaning of the water intake screen without staff having to wade into fast moving waters.
Hatchery technicians are involved in many scientific aspects of the operation including water quality testing, growth rate science, feeding rates, dissolved oxygen and many other facets that make the Tellico hatchery successful in rearing trout.
When asked what he enjoyed about his job, Mr. Theurer said, “I like everything about the job. We’re involved in great science and we get instant gratification from our hard work. We stock quality fish and see anglers enjoy their catch.”
To find out more about the TWRA visit tnwildlife.org.