|[From left] Director Roy Elicker, Commission Chair Marla Rae recognize Jim Welter with the Dave Liscia Volunteer Award.
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-
SALEM, Ore. – Jim Welter of Brookings was awarded ODFW’s Dave Liscia Volunteer Service Award during the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s June 6 meeting in Salem.
“Jim’s lifelong volunteerism and passion for fish has been invaluable to ODFW and the natural resources of our state,” said ODFW Director Roy Elicker.
Welters got involved in Oregon’s Salmon Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) at its inception and volunteers to this day. He was a charter member of the ODFW Marine Sportfish Advisory Committee and helped form the Oregon South Coast Fishermen organization. Welters was also involved in creating the Klamath Zone Fisheries Management Coalition, on which he is now the Oregon fishing representative. For decades Welters served as Oregon’s representative on the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Salmon Advisory Subpanel, and PFMC’s executive director refers to him as the Council’s “Southern Oregon senior ecologist.”
During his diverse working life, Welters served in the Korean War as an infantryman, operated a salmon and tuna troller in Fort Bragg Calif, and worked for the Bureau of Reclamation as a reservoir manager. South coast lore has it that Jim was also a professional boxer but no one has been able to confirm this.
Welters’ many accomplishments are more remarkable because he never let a vision disability keep him from his volunteer work. He lost the sight in his right eye in an auto repair accident while a detached retina lessened the sight in his left eye.
When not volunteering, Jim can be found tracking fishery policy on the internet, enjoying his garden and azaleas and fishing off of Brookings with friends on his F/V “Wild Turkey”.
The Dave Liscia Volunteer Award is awarded to one outstanding volunteer annually. It was created in honor of a former ODFW employee who coordinated many volunteer efforts before being killed in a car accident while returning home from the agency's Clackamas office.