The Gitanyow Fisheries Authority (GFA) currently employs 3 full-time biologists and a full-time fisheries coordinator. GFA employs 8-14 seasonal technicians, labourers and student workers that typically work each year during the field season from mid-April to mid-November.
Current Full-Time Staff
Gregory Rush - Fisheries Coordinator
Gregory is the head Chief of the Gitanyow wilp (house group) of Wii Litsxw (Meziadin Lake area). In his role at GFA he is in charge of administering the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy funding provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He manages the Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Fisheries each year for the Gitanyow, including issuing Designation Cards and Transport permits to community members to allow them to legally obtain their FSC fish. He is active in negotiations with industry and government in relation to management of natural resources on the Gitanyow Territory.
Mark Cleveland - Head Fisheries Biologist
Mark has been employed by the Gitanyow since 1999. He has been a Registered Professional Biologist in BC in good standing since 2003 and holds a degree in Biology from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George, BC. He also has technical diplomas in fish and wildlife technology and Natural Resources Law Enforcement from Sir Sanford Fleming College in Ontario. Mark has almost 20 years experience in natural resources management, including time spent in parks, forestry and fisheries consulting. He has extensive experience in fish and fish habitat assessment, salmonid stock assessment, fisheries management, project management and environmental impact assessment. Mark oversees all aspects of GFA technical activities, including budgeting, staffing, proposal writing, field work and reporting. He is very active in all aspects of environmental negotiations between the Gitanyow and other stakeholders (e.g. government, industry, NGO's, etc), acting as the direct link between science and the politics of decision making.
Kevin Koch - Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Kevin holds a BSc. in Wildlife Management from UNBC in Prince George, BC, and has over 12 years experience in fisheries, wildlife and forestry management in Northwest B.C. He has extensive experience in stream habitat assessment and restoration, including in-stream and riparian habitat work, as well as salmonid enumeration including snorkel surveys. His role at GFA is diverse and has included management of the Sedan Creek Hydro-electric fisheries assessment, working in the field with GFA technicians doing QA/QC, assisting the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs in developing wildlife management capacity and providing technical support for environmental assessment review processes.
Jordan Beblow - Fisheries Biologist
Jordan is a Registered Professional Biologist in BC in good standing, and received his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and was fortunate to work for five years at the university later in his career in research with the Sea Around Us Project. In addition to working in a research setting, his past work background for government (DFO, MoE), and in consulting, has broadened his outlook and perspective of how the different sectors operate and work with First Nations and industry on environmental questions. Jordan has combined his 20 years of field experience in the Natural Resource sector with strong organizational and technical writing skills with a love of the natural world to perform tasks in a timely and ethical manner.
GFA Seasonal Staff
Vernon has worked with GFA since 1998 and brings a wealth of knowledge and discipline to our crews. He knows the Gitanyow Traditional Territory very well. Prior to GFA he worked as a faller and a commercial fisherman. He is known on the crew for his excellent note-taking abilities and his high level of professionalism.
Les has been with GFA for over 16 years. He has a wealth of knowledge of the Gitanyow Traditional Territory, and excellent technical skills. Les works on all GFA projects and typically is stationed locally at our enumeration fences. In October/November 2010 he completed the Aboriginal Environmental Technician Certificate Course (AET) and the Environmental Monitoring for Construction Projects (EM) course through Vancouver Island University (VIU).
Earl has been with GFA for over 15 years. He has a wealth of knowledge of the Gitanyow Traditional Territory, and an excellent technical skills. Earl works on all GFA projects and has been the lead on the Parks and Rec Site Maintenance Project with the Ministry of Forests over the last few years. In October/November 2010 he completed the Aboriginal Environmental Technician Certificate Course (AET) and the Environmental Monitoring for Construction Projects (EM) course through Vancouver Island University (VIU).
Phillip has worked for GFA for over 14 years. He typically spends the bulk of the field season working in partnership with the Nisga'a Fisheries Program at the Meziadin Fishway. In October/November 2010 he completed the Aboriginal Environmental Technician Certificate Course (AET) and the Environmental Monitoring for Construction Projects (EM) course through Vancouver Island University (VIU).
Brenton has worked for GFA for over 7 years. Brenton works on all GFA projects but spends most of the season working at both the Kitwanga adult and smolt fences. He also spends much of the field season as a fisheries technician at the Meziadin Fishway. As a veteran technician, Brenton often works on various industrial projects such as mines and pipelines, providing technical assistance.
Morgan Douse started out as a Student Worker in 2012 and has been with us ever since, working in both an office and field capacity. Her eagerness to learn new things, her personable nature and her competency with computers has given her opportunities to work in the office with data management, preparation of the company health and safety manual and updating the GFA website. She has also worked on most of GFA's field projects, including the adult fence, Brown Bear Creek sockeye counts and monitoring of the commercial fishery at Meziadin, to name a few.
Johnny started with GFA in 2012 as a summer student, spending much of his first season doing stream assessments for pipeline projects. Since that time he has spent much of each summer working as a fisheries technician at the Meziadin Fishway, and has represented Gitanyow well in this capacity. He has also worked on both the adult and smolt fences and most other GFA projects, and has become a very versatile emerging leader on the GFA team.
Owen started with GFA in 2012 as a summer student, spending much of his first season doing stream assessments for pipeline projects. Since that time he has worked on most GFA projects including both the adult and smolt fences, beaver dam breaching, Brown Bear sockeye enumeration and others. Now in his fifth year with GFA Owen is becoming a valuable veteran member of the team.