My name is Andrew Bennett, and I am the Lake Snowden Fish Hatchery Manager and an instructor for Fish Hatchery Maintenance, Pond Management and Fish Biology. I grew up in Ohio, in a country setting outside of Bellefontaine, and attended Benjamin Logan High School, where I was heavily involved in soccer, bowling and FFA. I grew up with a stream in my backyard, where I spent all my free time learning and catching all sorts of small stream fish and observing aquatic life.
After high school, I attended Hocking College, where I received my Associate Degree in Wildlife Resources Management. I then went on to the University of Rio Grande to receive my Bachelor of Science in Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Management with a Minor in Biology.
During high school and college, I managed the freshwater and saltwater fish department at a local pet store. I also worked at a trout hatchery near my hometown, where I gained experience working with brown, brook, rainbow and tiger trout.
After college, I worked for the Delaware Division of Wildlife as a biological aid, where I got to track endangered Bog Turtles and Northern Long-eared Bats for scientific research. I also got experience working with Wayne National Forest catching copperhead snakes for a study during prescribed fires and its effects on the population. I’ve worked for the Ohio Division of Wildlife as a conservation worker doing Wildlife Management and Fisheries Management on the Berlin Lake Wildlife area.
After some great seasonal jobs, I accepted a permanent position as a Wildlife Specialist for the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District. I completed wildlife and stream surveys and provided wildlife and soil education in schools. A few years later, I become the interim manager for the district as well as the Wildlife Specialist. All of these great experiences led me to my current position as the Hatchery Manager for Hocking College.
Like most of us in the natural resource field, I have many outdoor hobbies such as hunting, fishing, fresh and saltwater aquariums, micro-fishing (minnows/darters/very small fish), and coal forging knives, to name a few.