IL: Fisheries chief says he’ll retire
Springfield – Simply saying he wanted to “spend more time
fishing and bowhunting,” DNR Fisheries Chief Steve Pallo announced
via e-mail that he will retire effective June 30.
The e-mail was sent to DNR staff, fisheries colleagues and the
state’s fishing community on June 1.
Pallo, who has a long and diverse career in various fisheries
positions, was named DNR’s acting fisheries chief in November of
2007. He later was named as the agency’s permanent chief.
Generally well-liked and respected by the state’s anglers,
Pallo’s exit comes at a time when DNR – and all state agencies –
face brutal fiscal challenges.
“Leaving the Fisheries Division is one of the most difficult
decisions I have ever made,” Pallo explained in his e-mail. “That’s
because of our extended fisheries family and our shared common goal
of making fishing better for all. It has been a challenge these
past few years but it’s time to move on and spend much more time
fishing and bowhunting.”
As this issue of Illinois Outdoor News went to press, DNR had
responded to requests for a statement on Pallo’s announced
retirement or what plans the agency has for the soon-to-be vacant
position. In his announcement, Pallo suggested that he and DNR have
been preparing for his exit for some time.
“During the next month, I will work closely with Jim Herkert and
others to make this a seamless and smooth transition,” Pallo wrote
on June 1, referring to DNR office manager Herkert. “It has been my
absolute pleasure to serve the Fisheries Division of DNR.”
Tipping a proverbial cap to his staff, Pallo added, “Keep up the
great work, so we can catch plenty of crappies, walleye, bass and
maybe a muskie or two.”
Speaking of muskies, Ray Thompson of the Illini Muskie Alliance
was one of the first to speak up upon hearing the news, lauding
Pallo with an e-mail that read, “Speaking for the IMA – and all
sportsmen groups in Illinois, I’m sure – you have been the model
for efficency and professionalism for the DNR.”
The IMA is one of several conservation groups in the state that
has benefitted from Pallo’s tenure.
Pallo has worked as a fishery biologist for over 35 years. He
earned his bachelor of science and master of science degrees from
Northwest Missouri State University. He is a certified fisheries
scientist and past president of the Illinois Chapter of the
American Fisheries Society.
At DNR, Pallo served as a district manager, regional
administrator, Lakes Program manager and Management Programs