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June 16, 2004
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Fish and Wildlife commissioner to head Federation of Fly Fishers

OLYMPIA - Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissioner R. P. ("Van") Van Gytenbeek of Seattle has accepted a position as chief executive officer of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF), based in Bozeman, Mont.

Van Gytenbeek said he plans to continue serving on the commission until fall, when he moves to Bozeman. His six-year term on the commission, which oversees the activities of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), was scheduled to expire in December.

"The federation has gained an energetic champion for fly fishing and the commission and Washington citizens have benefitted from Van's perspective on key issues," said Will Roehl, commission chair.

"We will miss Van-his efforts on behalf of the state's fish and wildlife resources and his advice and encouragement to department staff have been greatly appreciated," said Jeff Koenings, WDFW director.

A retired artillery captain with 30 years of private sector management experience, Van Gytenbeek is a past FFF president and has served as executive director of Trout Unlimited. More recently he worked as the development and marketing director for the Seadoc Society. He formerly published "Fly Fishing in Salt Waters" magazine in Seattle and has authored two books on trout and streamside conservation. He also has held board positions in a various recreational organizations, including the American Museum of Fly Fishing, the American League of Anglers and the Trout and Salmon Foundation.