Meet the Council: Mr. Troy Williamson, Recreational Angler and Advocate from Texas
|Getting ready for a day on the Gulf|
The Gulf Council is comprised of fishermen and other experts in the fishery from states across the Gulf of Mexico. Drawing upon the expertise of these local fishermen ensures that federal fishing regulations are made with direct understanding of and passion for our fishery. The Council is pleased to welcome aboard its newest member, Mr. Troy Williamson.
Troy Williamson developed a deep appreciation for fishing at a young age. His love of the sport is rooted in a memory of his grandma. She would take him down to the creek that ran along the edge of the Williamson cotton farm and sit, reading with an umbrella to shading her from the Texas sun, while he fished. He says that he can’t remember catching any fish at all; it was simply an experience he shared with her.
Troy’s passion for the outdoors grew along with him. He initially wanted to be a fisheries biologist, and worked for a summer at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Marine Lab in Rockport. Then, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in biology and chemistry. Eventually, Troy earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree.
|Troy fishing for his supper|
While his path led him away from the natural sciences and into a career as a civil trial lawyer, Troy always remained interested in fisheries. He found an outlet for his passion in advocation with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). His involvement with CCA opened new doors and he is now completing his third term as a Commissioner on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. He also sits on the Executive Committee of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation, Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Troy has also served on numerous Advisory Panels for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. Also, he still raises cotton and wheat on the Williamson farm.
Mr. Williamson answered the following questions to provide some insight on his perspective of the Gulf fishery:
What do you hope to bring to the Council?
I plan to focus on what is good for the fishery and the fishermen. I have my own experience and perspective. I hope to make decisions that benefit everyone.
What aspect of the fishery is the most important to you?
For me, the most interesting part of the fishery that relates to humans and how fisheries and management impact the economy and community. Rebuilding of the fish populations is a success story and now, we need to shift our focus towards successfully managing fishermen.
Do you have a favorite fishing moment or story to tell?
Generally, I enjoy every opportunity I have to fish, especially fly-fishing. I learned at an early age that sport fishing is about the experience, not the catching. Being on the water with family and friends makes every trip a “favorite."