When Antonio Salgado started his career, he was a fish biologist working with cutthroat trout and tiny species of fish that live in hot springs far out in the deserts of southern and eastern Nevada.
Since joining the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2014, Salgado’s job has given him much bigger fish to manage.
Salgado is an assistant district fish biologist for the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program in the Charleston field office, a job he started in January.
He first joined ODFW in June 2014 in the eastern Oregon town of John Day, where he led crews collecting data and monitoring habitats of Steelhead and Chinook salmon.
Now, he’s learning as much as he can to prepare for working with volunteers of all ages and providing education about Oregon’s fish and their habitats.
“The mission of the ODFW is very, very clear: to preserve our natural resources for the enjoyment of present and future generations,” Salgado said. “And I believe that through the involvement of the citizens we can do a stronger job and we can also diversify our approach to that same mission.”
Salgado was born in Dallas, Texas, where he lived until age three. After that, he was raised in a tiny rural town in Mexico before moving to Reno, Nev., to finish high school. He has a bachelor of science degree in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Salgado worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for about 10 years, monitoring population numbers and habitat for a variety of species, including the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
After the office closed, Salgado took his habitat monitoring and crew leadership skills to the ODFW in John Day.
It was there that he first heard of a STEP biologist. He realized that he, too, wanted to do work that enhanced salmon and trout through education and volunteer efforts.
Though one person can only do so much, by spreading that passion and willingness to work for the good of fish, it’s good for everyone, Salgado said.
“This way we get to amplify our mission,” he said.