List of current and past IFR Directors

  • Whelan, Gary - 2015 to Present
  • Wehrly, Kevin - 2011 to 2014 (Acting)
  • Wang, Lizhu - 2003 to 2011
  • Nuhfer, Andrew J.; Lockwood, Roger N.; Breck, James E. - 2002 to 2003 (Temporary 6 month appointments)
  • Seelbach, Paul W. - 2001 for ~6 months before becoming the Research Program Manager
  • Breck, James E. - 2001 (Temporary 6 month appointment)
  • Schneider, James C. - 1991 to 2000
  • Latta, W. Carl - 1976 to 1991
  • Cooper, Gerald P. - 1967 to 1976
  • Hooper, Frank F. - 1965 to 1966
  • Cooper, Gerald P. - 1955 to 1965
  • Hazzard, Albert S. - 1935 to 1955
  • Hubbs, Carl L. - 1930 to 1935

An excerpt from Fisheries Research Report no. 1882:

The Institute for Fisheries Research 1930-1980 - Fifty Years of Fisheries Investigations (Updated to include years up to 1996)

The Institute for Fisheries Research was established on February 7, 1930, by the University of Michigan Board of Regents. In 1973, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of fisheries management in Michigan, Gerald P. Cooper, then supervisor of fisheries research in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, prepared a history of fisheries research. His accounts of people, activities, and accomplishments for the Institute, presented in the following paragraphs, are also included in W. Carl Latta's 1980 report.

In the years since 1973 there have been some changes in fisheries research. In 1974, the Grayling Pathology Laboratory and the Hastings Fisheries Research Station were closed. Fish disease studies were dropped and the staff reassigned outside of research. A pathologist was transferred to the Wolf Lake Hatchery at Mattawan to work with hatchery biologists in control of disease problems. The Hastings staff was also transferred to Wolf Lake Hatchery but continued to work on research projects. In 1976, Gerald P. Cooper retired and W. Carl Latta took his place. Carl Latta retired in 1992, and James C. Schneider served as acting supervisor until Richard D. Clark, Jr. became the next supervisor of research.

Included in the anniversary report is a list of students supported either as employees or fellows while they completed graduate studies in fisheries for a Master's or Doctor's degree. In its first 50 years the Institute had supported, guided, and benefited from 42 Master and 39 Doctoral students. Of the 81 graduate students supported, 22 are or were career employees with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The Institute is undoubtedly judged as to its worth on the number and quality of its publications more than any other thing. In the first 50 years the Institute staff and students published 476 scientific or popular articles or 9.5 per year. Perusal of the list of publications shows that almost every aspect of freshwater fisheries management has been considered sometime in the past. By 1980, in addition to the published reports, the Institute biologists had prepared 1,877 in-house fisheries research reports for the use of management and from which many of the published articles have evolved.

Since 1930 there have been five supervisors of fisheries research--Carl L. Hubbs, 1930-35; Albert S. Hazzard, 1935-55; Gerald P. Cooper, 1955-76; William C. Latta, 1976-92; and Richard D. Clark, Jr., 1992 to present. Unfortunately both Hubbs and Hazzard died in 1979. The 1980 research staff, grouped by research station, is pictured in Figure 2, and some representative staffs of the past are shown in Figure 3 of Latta's 1980 report.

Fisheries research in Michigan has thrived. In the early years, the Institute was a unique organization for there were few biological groups in the country who addressed fisheries problems. However, with growth of the fisheries profession, more states and universities developed fisheries research staff. Today the Institute is only one of many fisheries research groups, but it has had an illustrious history and, hopefully, it will have an outstanding future.

For more information, consult the following report, from which the above was taken:

Latta, W. C. 1980. Institute for Fisheries Research 1930-1980: Fifty years of fisheries investigations. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Report No. 1882, Ann Arbor.


Noteworthy Events in the History of the Institute for Fisheries Research
Last revised 1/12/96

  • 1919 The Children's Ward (this building) of the Homeopathic Hospital was built at a cost of $32,322.41.
  • 1922 The Children's Ward is taken over by Health Services.
  • 1928 East Addition added to the Health Service Building.
  • 1930 The Institute for Fisheries Research is born on February 7th by action of the University of Michigan. Dr. Carl L. Hubbs becomes the first Director.
  • 1930 The Institute is allocated space in the Museums Building.
  • 1930 Research Report #1 is published, entitled 'Diseased Bass from Loon Lake, Iosco County', by Carl L. Hubbs.
  • 1930 J. Clark Salyer becomes the Institutes first Graduate Student.
  • 1931-1935 The University allocates $29,900 to the Institute for Research programs.
  • 1932 The yearly budget for the Institute of $21,000 is provided by the Michigan Conservation Commission.
  • 1935 Dr. Albert S. Hazard appointed as director of the Institute to replace Dr. Carl L. Hubbs.
  • 1935 In August the Institute purchases a new 1935 Chevrolet Sedan with safety glass from Huron Motor Sales of Ann Arbor for $540.65.
  • 1940 Health Services vacates the building. Taken over by the University Museums, it is renamed the Museums Annex Building.
  • 1940 The Institute, along with the Great Lakes Laboratory of the Fish and Wildlife Service and several other Museum disciplines move into the Museums Annex Building.
  • 1940 The salary for a Fisheries Research Preparator I is $150 to $190 per month, as listed in the newest Michigan Civil Service Compensation Schedule.
  • 1942 The University War Board appoints Clarence M. Flaten as Museums Annex Air Raid Warden.
  • 1945 The 1000th Research Report is published. '1945 Intensive Creel Census of Kinne Creek, Wingleton Club, for the 1944 Trout Season' by David S. Shetter and Pat Galvin.
  • 1995 The 2000th Research Report is published. 'Vegetation-Open Water Interface and the Predator-Prey Interaction between Largemouth Bass and Bluegills: a Field Experiment.' by Kelley D. Smith.