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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 12, 2009 at 7:42 PM

State Fish and Wildlife Commission hires Phil Anderson as the department’s permanent director

After boiling down their picks from six to two candidates for the permanent director of state Fish and Wildlife the commission announced that Phil Anderson, who has served as the interim director for more than nine months will take over the job.

The nine governor appointed members of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted today to select Anderson in a public meeting.

Commission members said in a news release they sought a director with a strong conservation ethic, sound fiscal-management and leadership skills and expertise in intergovernmental relations.

“We’ve had a healthy discussion on the future of [state Fish and Wildlife] and we’re confident that together the commission and Phil will set the priorities to guide the department in its vital mission of protecting Washington’s natural resources,” said Miranda Wecker, chair of the citizen commission.

“I’ve known and worked with Phil for 35 years, and I can’t think of another person who knows as much about the job and management of salmon than Phil,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in Seattle. “We in the sport fishing industry look forward to taking sport fishing and selective fishing to the next level with this appointment.”

Anderson will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff P. Koenings, Ph.D., who left the director’s post last December after a decade on the job. Anderson has served as interim director for nine months since Koenings’ resignation.

As director, Anderson will report to the commission and manage a department of 1,386 employees, with a biennial operating and capital budget of more than $350 million.

The commission voted to recommend Anderson be paid an annual salary of $141,000. The director’s salary is subject to approval by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Anderson, age 59, served as state Fish and Wildlife’s deputy director for resource policy for more than a year before being appointed interim director.

Anderson previously served as assistant director of state Fish and Wildlife’s Intergovernmental Resource Management Program, leading the department’s North of Falcon team which sets annual salmon-fishing seasons for marine waters including Puget Sound and the coast. Anderson also is state Fish and Wildlife’s representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC).

Anderson joined state Fish and Wildlife in 1994 after serving seven years on the PFMC as a private citizen, including duties as PFMC vice chairman and chairman. Anderson began his professional fishery career over 30 years ago as owner and operator of a charter fishing boat business. He attended Grays Harbor College.

Anderson and his wife, Chris, live in Westport and have two sons. Anderson is an avid hunter, fisher and birdwatcher, and has served as a school board member of the Ocosta School District.

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