Meet Dennis Segura – #TeamNMGameandFish

Cool job alert!!!

Imagine a job where you spend your time introducing sport fishing and aquatic education to new anglers.

Dennis Segura is the lucky person who has gotten paid to do this every day for the past five years. Along with a few contractors, Dennis teaches both youth and adult groups angling ethics, knot tying, setting up a rig, how to safely and properly cast a rod, basic fishing tips and how to clean a fish.

Segura said, “We also teach proper catch-and-release techniques while safely handling and releasing fish. We conduct outdoor labs where we catch and study benthic macroinvertebrate aquatic insects, the primary food source for trout. We do fish dissections in the field where we identify and discuss the internal organs and their functions.”

In this month’s #TeamNMGameandFish, we had a short Q and A with Dennis Segura.

Banner: What a pretty scene to spend your day in. Dennis helps this young angler learn new fishing skills. Inset: Dennis teaches this youngster how to use a closed-faced reel.
?What led you to your current job?
I am a retired public-school educator of 29 years and wanted to try another career. The position of Sport Fishing Education Coordinator attracted me because it combines teaching aquatic education, angling, outdoor ethics and working with outstanding professionals in a great agency.

?What is the most exciting part of your job?
The most exciting part of my job is meeting and working with people from all over the state of New Mexico. I enjoy seeing new anglers hook and land their first fish, taking their beginning steps to becoming a lifelong passion for many.

?What is your favorite part of working for the Department?
Working for the Department has allowed me to see some of the most beautiful locations throughout the state of New Mexico. I have also had the opportunity to observe wildlife I might not have been able to see otherwise. Working for the Department has allowed me to do my part in teaching wildlife conservation and outdoor ethics.

?What are your hobbies, or what do you do when you are not at work?
I have always enjoyed sports, both playing and watching. I like traveling and visiting minor- and major-league baseball stadiums as well as historical sites. I enjoy bike riding, hiking, fishing and, most of all, spending time with my family, grandson and pets.

?What are some of the projects you will work on over the next year or several years?
My main goal is to leave a solid foundation for the sport-fishing education program. We continue to build working relationships with schools, non-profit organizations, city recreation departments, charity and church groups and individuals. Developing and running the best aquatic education program we can to fit the needs of New Mexico’s students and beginning anglers is an ongoing process.

?What else do you want the public to know about you or your job?
I would like the public to know there is a lot more to my job than spending the day fishing. I am responsible for researching, ordering, inventorying and maintaining the Department’s aquatic education equipment. I spend a great deal of time contacting individuals, coordinating, organizing and scheduling aquatic events throughout the state of New Mexico. The Department is also always looking for new volunteers to help with our fishing events. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to reach the number of new anglers that we work with each year.

?If someone is looking to get a career with Game and Fish in the future, what advice would you give them?
There are many careers available working in wildlife conservation and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Take the time to review the careers available to fit your interest. The Department has careers in many fields, including information and education, law enforcement, technology, administrative services, wildlife and fisheries biology and management, human resources and many more.

Dennis also plays a key role in assisting Trout Unlimited with fly-tying classes and the Trout in the Classroom Program. During the COVID pandemic, Dennis quickly shifted from in-person classes to developing lesson plans and activities to help educate people across New Mexico and the globe. Dennis is also a key player in translating documents and activities into Spanish for the Department.

About Tristanna Bickford

Tristanna Bickford is the Assistant Chief of Education for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.