Pero Honored at Wild Trout Symposium
Thomas R. Pero, publisher of Wild River Press, has been awarded the Aldo Starker Leopold Wild Trout Medal.
Pero was recognized at an awards luncheon in West Yellowstone, Montana, on September 29, 2010 during Wild Trout Symposium X, the international gathering of fisheries scientists held once every five years. The medal was presented to Pero as “a non-fisheries professional who, in the eyes of his peers, has made long-time and significant contributions to the enhancement, protection and preservation of wild trout.” The companion professional Leopold Wild Trout Medal went to biologist Stephen E. Moore for decades of commitment to restoring native brook trout to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Previous recipients of the prestigious medal include noted anglers Bud Lilly, Nick Lyons and Ernest Schwiebert.
In 1977, at age 23, Pero was named the youngest and first full-time editor of Trout magazine, the national voice of Trout Unlimited. During his 16- year tenure, Trout grew in stature and influence, and twice was named Conservation Magazine of the Year, beating out publications with substantially larger circulations and reputations such as Audubon and Sierra. He introduced the legendary trout biologist, Robert Behnke, to readers of Trout in the fresh and illuminating “About Trout” column. Later, Pero founded the magazines Wild Steelhead & Salmon and Fish & Fly, both of which also won critical acclaim for excellence in journalism and graphics.
In 1989, Pero—long fascinated with anadromous fish—was presented the Ted Williams Miramichi Salmon Association Award by the New Brunswick-based organization. In 1992, Pero joined with his Seattle-area neighbor and conservationist, U. S. Navy Captain Peter W. Soverel (ret.), to organize The Wild Salmon Center, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
Pero is now busy creating high-quality sporting books. Several years ago, he published A Passion for Steelhead by Dec Hogan, widely acknowledged as the new bible on fly fishing for the iconic Pacific Northwest game fish. And last summer, after four years in development, Wild River Press released the much-anticipated A Passion for Tarpon by Andy Mill, featuring a special foreword by the first President Bush. Atlantic Salmon Magic by Topher Browne is due out next spring.
ABOUT THE AWARD’S NAMESAKE
Also Starker Leopold (1913-1983) was the eldest son of Aldo Leopold, author of the game-management classic, A Sand County Almanac. Following in his famous father’s footsteps, he became one of the world’s most influential and respected authorities on wildlife ecology. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Yale Forestry School, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1944, and retiring there as Emeritus Professor of Biology in 1978.
At the first Wild Trout Symposium in 1974 and the second in 1979, Leopold spoke about the future of wild trout populations in the context of broader watershed stewardship. He urged giving higher priority to habitat through proper land-use patterns and greater attention to the physical condition of our lakes and streams. He said that limited public budgets available for trout management were misspent on trivial activities such as planting short-lived hatchery trout.