Doug Bue retires after 34 years with ADF&G

by Angela Denning-Barnes on February 1, 2013

Doug Bue, fisheries biologist. Photo courtesy of ADF&G

Doug Bue’s voice is familiar to many residents along the Kuskokwim River. He’s the guy on the phone recording fishermen call to get daily updates on subsistence and commercial fishing schedules. For years, Doug Bue has been known as the “Voice of the Kuskokwim.” He’s also a biologist with a wealth of knowledge that his co-workers are going to miss. Bue retired this week.

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Travis Ellison is the Kuskokwim Area Management Biologist for the State. He says Bue has, “forgotten more about Kuskokwim area fisheries than most of us will ever know.”

He says Bue has been the anchor for the Kuskokwim for over three decades now, and staff and residents looked to him for help.

“I think every body trusts whatever he has to say and that’s why the public always comes in looking for Doug,” Ellison said. “You know, they don’t want to speak to anyone, they want to talk to Doug Bue about what’s going on in the fisheries. So, I think the public will be missing him as much as the staff probably.”

Bue’s Kuskokwim career started in 1978 when he worked on field projects in the drainage as a technician. Since then, he worked his way up the ranks to a fisheries biologist.

Bue was recognized by the Division of Commercial Fisheries in 2004 with a Director’s Achievement Award for receiving a high level of respect and status throughout his career.

John Linderman, the state’s AYK Regional Supervisor says that Bue easily deserved it.

“And I don’t think that we could ever give him enough awards but this is something that at least that can be put on his record and that he can feel proud of for the service that he’s given to the Kuskokwim for so many years,” Linderman said.

Linderman says what Bue knows can’t be learned in books or taught in a class. It’s a level of understanding that can only come through longevity and experience.

“Trying to replace him, it can’t be done,” Linderman said. “You’d have to have somebody that again is spending 30 plus years working out there in the Kuskokwim to achieve that same level of respect and status that Doug has achieved.”

Even though he won’t be in the office anymore, people can still hear his voice on the answering machine. . .at least for now.

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