Tim Kroeff established this scholarship in 2018, after a 40-year career as a fisheries technician with the Wisconsin DNR. Tim regularly attended Wisconsin American Fisheries Society Chapter meetings and was a member of the Scholarship Committee for many years. Tim realized a need for additional scholarship opportunities. Tim has provided this scholarship for students in order to honor retired and current fisheries technicians, biologists, and supervisors who have worked with Tim on Lake Michigan from 1978 – 2018.
Tim began his career in 1978 at the Sturgeon Bay office, after graduating from UW-Stevens Point with a B.S. in Fisheries Management. According to Tim’s colleagues, he has logged more hours on Great Lakes vessels than perhaps any other WDNR employee. Great Lakes technicians have an especially unique set of responsibilities not shared by many inland techs due to the specialized and dangerous nature of working on big water. For example, Tim has served as First Mate on the research vessels Barney Devine, Gaylord Nelson, and Coregonus – each a uniquely different boat. Tim has worked closely with four different Captains on those vessels through the years and has been called on to make quick decisions to ensure the safety of the crew during bad weather, mechanical malfunctions, or problems with gear.
Tim was also a member of the WDNR dive team, and his diving experience has been invaluable on occasions to retrieve a lost net, conduct egg surveys, or assist law enforcement in diving. He adapted the use of SCUBA and snorkeling to complement ongoing fisheries and other aquatic studies.
Since the 1980’s Tim has been responsible for coordinating and conducting most of the chub assessments for Wisconsin on Lake Michigan, including data workup and analysis. Few people working on the Lake have a better grasp of the current status of bloater chubs than Tim. He co-authored a professional journal article in 2002 titled “Population dynamics of bloaters (Coregonus hoyi) in Lake Michigan”.
It was Tim who convinced managers in the late 1980’s of the need for assessment surveys and tagging studies for the Door County smallmouth bass. He designed the original sampling plan and has been an integral part of those studies ever since: in the field, in the lab, and report preparation. Information gleaned from those studies has helped managers maintain a healthy smallmouth population in the face of decades of intense pressure from sport, charter, and tournament fishers.
In addition, Tim’s knowledge and historical perspective on the chub and whitefish fisheries in Lake Michigan is irreplaceable. He has helped foster better relationships between commercial fishermen and WDNR through years of onboard monitoring of commercial fishing vessels. Not only did he collect the required biological data but he often pitched in to work side by side with fisherman picking fish from their nets, earning their respect and admiration.
The purpose of the Tim Kroeff Fisheries Scholarship is to provide financial support to fisheries students. Junior, Senior, or Graduate students who are studying aquatic or fisheries biology/science at a Wisconsin university or college, and are student members of the Wisconsin Chapter of AFS are eligible to receive this $1000 scholarship. Contact Tammie Paoli if you have questions. Please click here for a summary of the scholarship criteria and AFS Scholarship Application. The deadline for applying is December 15.