Congratulations, Robert!

We are proud to report that BBRSDA President Robert Heyano has been named 2013 Highliner of the Year, by National Fisherman magazine.

Although its name might lead some to assume that Highliner recognition is only about production numbers, the award criteria is broader than that. National Fisherman and its sponsoring partner Furuno have given out the awards since 1975 to honor “commercial fishermen who uphold a standard of excellence in their advocacy of the fishing industry.”

A founding board member of BBRSDA and lifelong Bristol Bay resident, Robert started picking fish on his family’s setnet sites at Ekuk Beach when he was nine years old, and since 1972 he’s been running drift boats as an owner/operator.

“This organization would not be what it is – or possibly even exist – without Robert’s wisdom and leadership. I speak for all the board members when I say that National Fisherman made a splendid choice with this award,” said BBRSDA Executive Director Bob Waldrop. “Robert’s steadfast leadership has been foundational for the Bristol Bay fishing industry. His effectiveness is equaled only by the care he takes to avoid drawing credit to himself, and that’s another of the many reasons why it is so fitting that he should be recognized in this way.”

Sharing 2013 Highliner honors with Robert this year are Robert Hezel, of Clinton, WA, and Jerry McCune, of Cordova, AK. Full profiles of the honorees will appear in the December issue of the magazine.