By Paul Smith
Ron Bruch, a 37-year veteran of the Department of Natural Resources, has been named fisheries director for the agency.
Bruch succeeds Mike Staggs, who announced his plan to retire in January. Bruch will assume the fisheries chief job on Monday. Staggs had been fisheries director since 1997.
Bruch, 60, is best known for his two decades of work as sturgeon biologist on the Lake Winnebago system. The world-renowned management program combines high levels of fisheries science and public involvement to craft regulations that protect the sturgeon population and allow an annual spearing season.
Bruch started his career as a fisheries technician, later working as fisheries biologist, supervisor, and bureau section chief. Since 2012 he has worked as statewide fisheries administrator.
Bruch holds a bachelor of science degree from UW-Stevens Point and master’s and doctorate degrees from UW-Milwaukee, all in fisheries science. He is author or co-author of numerous peer reviewed publications, as well as "People of the Sturgeon, Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish."