July 7th 2016 Speaker Brian Zimmerman – Bio
I have been interested in North American Native Fish for almost my whole life. My father has photos of me playing in a stream when I was 2 years old. My parents got me interested in reading by getting me fish books because I had no interest in reading otherwise. By the time I was in middle school I knew I wanted to work with fish and by high school it was definitely natives. While still in high school I began breeding fish in aquariums and built a 1/4 acre wetland just to breed my own grass pickerel in my parents backyard. I then went to college at Heidelberg University in Tiffin Ohio where I double majored in water resources and environmental biology. Also while there I started Zimmerman’s Fish and began selling native fish to other enthusiasts. I then moved on to Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green Ohio where I got a masters in Aquatic Ecology and completed my thesis on a study of Redside Dace with the help of the NANFA conservation grant. From there I moved on to a couple of interesting temporary positions with a couple of consulting companies and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. While working for ODW I revamped their fish ID pages (http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/species-guide-index) so that it included descriptions and photos of all Ohio fish species. Apparently I impressed them enough with my work there because after that temporary position ended I was asked to work on a project through Ohio State University funded by ODW to revise the well known (at least to fish people) book Fishes of Ohio by M.B. Trautman. Hopefully I will be working on this project for several year to come and eventually provide a nice new publication for our membership and other native fish enthusiast. Since then I have started on several other projects jointly with OSU and Ohio DOW including some captive propagation and reintroduction of several state listed fish species.