In Memoriam: AFS Past President Lee Redmond

In Memoriam

Lee Charles Redmond
September 15, 1939 – September 20, 2022

Lee Charles Redmond, of Lohman, Missouri, passed away at the age of 83 due to heart failure on September 20, 2022.

Redmond worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation for 37 years as a fishery research biologist, fisheries management supervisor, and as an assistant fisheries division chief, before his retirement in 2000. He was widely recognized as an expert in the art and science of warm water fisheries management.

He implemented size limits on lakes throughout Missouri and played a major role in establishing one of the first urban fishing programs in the nation. He also drafted the original Municipal Lakes Program for the state of Missouri, which evolved into the highly successful Community Assistance Program. He worked successfully to provide additional federal funds to states for sport fishing and used those funds for Missouri to initiate a new stream program that became known as Streams for the Future.

Redmond authored and coauthored several papers as well as organizing national symposia on the subject, and contributed a chapter in the book Reservoir Fisheries Management – Strategies for the 80s, a summary of a national symposium on the managing of reservoir fishery resources.

Meanwhile, Redmond practiced what he preached—and went fishing.

Redmond was also a leader in the American Fisheries Society. He joined AFS in 1962, became a Certified Fisheries Scientist in 1972, and a Life Member in 1981. He was a charter member of the AFS Missouri Chapter, where he served as Secretary Treasurer for two years. Redmond served as President of the AFS North Central Division from 1989–1990, where he established the Urban Fishing Committee. Redmond served as AFS President from 1994–1995. One of his lasting legacies as President was to establish three new awards to recognize individuals, groups, agencies, or companies that advanced aquatic resource conservation at the national or international level. He was rewarded by the American Fisheries Society for his time and efforts by many awards, including the Award of Excellence, Distinguished Service Award, Meritorious Service Award, and the Fisheries Management Section’s Award of Merit. He was also was elected to the Fisheries Management Hall of Excellence in 2001. Redmond served for 2 years as an Associate Editor of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.

In his circle of friends, employees and cohorts, he became known as “Mr. Fish Management.”

The AFS Missouri Chapter renamed their one of their awards the “Lee Redmond Citizen’s Award,” which is given annually to persons who make substantial contributions to Missouri’s aquatic resources. This “pat on the back” echoed Redmond’s philosophy of freely dispensing wisdom and encouragement, and giving credit where credit is due. It’s a lasting message to all of us.

Redmond was a good administrator with a couple of quirks. For instance, he was not an advocate of the clean desk group, but just like me, stacked his papers high, to the point that a visitor asked him, “Is this a recycling center?!”

Lee Redmond was a good friend to us all; a gentle and kind person; a true, great, and successful conservation warrior; a good example for his employees of service, scientific rigor, and friendly, gentlemanly conduct; a leader in the field of fisheries management in Missouri, throughout the Midwest, and anywhere warmwater fishes swim; and a leader in the American Fisheries Society. And, on top of all that, he was a really fun person to be around.

—Joe Dillard, [email protected]