Our History





Our Founder: Al Hazzard

Dr. Albert S. Hazzard, Assistant Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, retired April 1, 1963 and Dr. Hazzard directed the Commission’s land and water management activities including the biological services, fish rearing, distribution, engineering construction and maintenance. He led the improvement work in Pennsylvania.

In the Commission he helped organize and develop the regional fish management program and represented the Commission in developing plans with the US Soil Conservation Service for multi-purpose lakes under Public Law 566. Dr. Hazzard served on the advisory committee of the International Great Lakes Fishery Commission and acted as Advisor on fisheries from Pennsylvania for the Great Lakes Commission.


He served on a staff headed by Dr. Maurice Goddard, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters during the development of Delaware River Basin Comprehensive Survey. Dr. Hazzard also represented the Fish Commission on various conservation committees with the state and nationally. Before going to Pennsylvania and while there, Dr. Hazzard was active in promoting public trout fishing for sport often referred to throughout the world as the “Fish-for-Fun” project. He believed that reducing the kill through higher size limits and restrictions to artificial lures was the most effective way to better trout fishing.

Dr. Hazzard was a strong advocate of stream improvement and was convinced that warm-water fishermen could best be served via the control of pollution, soil, conservation, securing public access to fishing waters and building fishing lakes rather than by any state-wide program of fish stocking.

Born in Buchanan, NY, on July 30, 1901, Dr. Hazzard graduated from high school in Hancock, NY. He took a A.B. Degree with Honors at Cornell University in 1924, and obtained his PhD degree at Cornell in 1931. He was an instructor in zoology at Cornell from 1924 until 1931. He was a member and leader of the Streams unit of the biological survey of the New York Conservation Department from 1926 through 1930. From 1931 until 1935 he was employed as an associate aquatic biologist by the US Bureau of Fisheries, now the US Fish & Wildlife Service, in charge of fisheries investigations in the western inter-mountain region.


In addition to directing the Institute of Fisheries Research, he served as a research associate in zoology at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, and as a private consultant in sport fishery matters. In the latter capacity he served the Izaak Walton League of America in a study in the Adirondacks, and as a special consultant to the Wildlife Resources Board of the State of California.

Dr. Hazzard authored over 70 technical and popular articles relating to fresh-water sports fisheries and was a member of the American Fisheries Society, one of the oldest scientific organizations in the country. He served as its President from 1950-1951. While in Michigan he was active Science Research Club of the University of Michigan and the President of the Club in 1955. He was also a member of the International Association of Fish, Game and Convservation Commission. He was a member of Sigma Xi and Gamma Alpha honorary scientific fraternities.

Dr. Hazzard was married to Florence Woolsey of Hancock, NY, and they raised five children. They retired on a farm near Hancock, NY.  Dr. Hazzard was a fine scholar, gentleman, and above all, fisherman.


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