An Auburn man has earned honors from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Mike Conlin was announced today as one of 3 nominees who will be formally inducted into IDNR’s Outdoor Hall of Fame. The inductions will take place during a ceremony at the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Gala April 21st, 2021 at the Union League Club in Chicago.
Conlin retired after 38 years of distinguished service from IDNR and the Department of Conservation in 2009. He served as a fisheries biologist, chief of the Division of Fisheries for 30 years, and director of the IDNR Office of Resource Conservation. Conlin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa from 1964 to 1966 prior to studying at Eastern Illinois University where he graduated with degrees in zoology and aquatic biology.
While managing the Division of Fisheries, Conlin initiated expansion of the state fish hatcheries; enhanced monitoring and assessment of fish populations; began a fish contaminant monitoring program in cooperation with the IEPA; developed the state’s popular catchable trout fishing program and Illinois Urban Fishing Program; promoted agreements allowing management assistance and public access to non-state owned waters for fishing; and, worked to increase federal and state funding for fisheries programs.