March 8, 2018
By Marie Zhuikov*
When it comes to Wisconsin’s fisheries, Justine Hasz gets around. The 18-year veteran of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has worked in many of the state’s fisheries hot spots. She began her permanent career with the DNR in 2000 as a fisheries biologist for Green Bay, then covered Marinette and Oconto counties before moving to Wisconsin Rapids to cover Adams, Juneau and Wood counties. In 2012, she was named fisheries team supervisor for 13 counties in the western part of the state.
Hasz was named fisheries bureau director in 2015. In her role, she leads over 200 staff members who are responsible for fish propagation, management and angler services.
Her journey to Wisconsin also covered a lot of ground. Hasz, a native of Leicester, England, moved to Wisconsin in 1997 to UW-Stevens Point to earn a master’s degree in freshwater fisheries management. But before that, she earned her master’s in marine fisheries science from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
An avid angler and hunter, Hasz said her work around the state with both recreational and commercial anglers gives her insights into the connection between the environment and the economy. The Wisconsin DNR sells more than one million resident and 500,000 nonresident recreational fishing licenses annually, collecting over $1.1 billion in fees. The DNR estimates that those anglers spend another $2.1 billion in Wisconsin communities each year.
This fall, Hasz was appointed to the Wisconsin Sea Grant Advisory Council.
“Justine’s knowledge about Wisconsin fisheries management and the economic impacts of the state’s fisheries will be an important asset on our advisory council, a group that helps Wisconsin Sea Grant set priorities and allocate funding toward those priorities,” said Jen Hauxwell, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Assistant Director for Research and Student Engagement.
*Based on an August 26, 2015, story from “The Outdoor Wire.”