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Congratulations to Katie Zinn, our successful recipient of the 2020 John B. Holdstock Scholarship!

Katie recently defended her MSc at the University of British Columbia, department of zoology. Her thesis was focused on the effects of reduced streamflow on hypoxia and habitat use of Threatened Salish sucker and juvenile coho salmon. She was honored to be working with a group of colleagues from a variety of research areas, and also feels extremely fortunate to be a part of the Canadian Freshwater Species at Risk Research Network--a group that focuses on the needs of endangered fish species across Canada.

Katie grew up spending summers on the Sunshine Coast, where she "spent hours on end exploring the intertidal zone, poking anemones and fishing off the dock. I would take the boat out to hang out with the seals, and when I was older these outings turned into fishing trips. I quickly learnt that I had an affinity towards all aquatic creatures—both big and small."

Kataie's undergrad degree is in Natural Resource Conservation with a specialty in Science and Management. During her undergraduate studies she volunteered in the Pacific Salmon and Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, which further proved that studying fish was the right choice. Katie has also worked as a wildfire fighter out of Cranbrook, BC. "It was an amazing experience to work in the East Kootenays, and it forced me to open my eyes to the freshwater world after growing up on the coast. Shortly after I got to Cranbrook, I was introduced to fly fishing. It’s easy to learn to fly fish when you are surrounded by world-class dry fly rivers. I fell in love with the sport and have been chasing fish with my fly rod ever since."

"As someone who fly fishes, I understand the intimacy between fish and their environment. After all the hours I have spent on river analyzing and wondering about the fish… the need for the conservation of these species became increasingly important to me as a recreational stakeholder, and apparent to me as a scientist. I want to apply my education in any way that I can to protect aquatic species, especially those that contribute to the recreational fishery," says Katie.

"I am thrilled to have been offered to begin a PhD this fall, studying the effects of recreational catch and release on Chinook salmon in the faculty of Forestry at UBC. I am excited about the opportunity to utilize my recreational fishing skills while I continue my studies (especially as a female angler). I hope to use my platform as a researcher and angler to promote ethical catch and release practices and sustainability for our precious fisheries."

Congratulations Katie and good luck in your future endeavours!