Mike Wood retired after thirty-seven years with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Mike Wood was born and raised in West Monroe. He graduated with Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. In school and beyond, his primary interest has always been the management of aquatic ecosystems. If you ask him though, he’s “just a guy who likes fish.”
He and his wife, Terri, have three children, twins Jake and Jordan and their sister Samantha. He currently resides in southwest Ouachita Parish.
Mike wore several hats during his thirty-seven-year career, starting as a biological technician, hatchery manager, field biologist, and Biologist Manager. In 2008, he began service as a consultant for LDWF staff statewide, advising on complex and confrontational issues. In 2010, he was promoted to Director of Inland Fisheries and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2015. .
Mike was instrumental in the development of the original Louisiana Black Bass Management Plan. As a biologist and as Director, he oversaw the completion of detailed management plans for all Louisiana waterbodies. He also initiated a program of intensive sampling and data assessment to evaluate harvest regulations on Louisiana waters.
With hard-earned data to back him up, Mike also was instrumental in the removal of the fourteen-inch minimum length limit in the Atchafalaya Basin and the standardization of LA-TX border regulations; he played an integral role in development of the integrated pest management approach to control aquatic nuisance vegetation; he also improved overall efficiency in the department’s aquatic weed eradication efforts and he assisted in the revision of the departmental stocking policy that increased stocking success and efficiency.
Mike is a recipient of the LDWF Secretary’s Employee of Year Award for the work he did to restore the Caney Lake’s famous fisheries; and, in addition to the valuable work that he did as a biologist and administrator for LDWF, Mike also represented the department on numerous special committees including the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society Reservoir Committee from 1996 through 2010, the Atchafalaya Basin Program from 2010 through 11 2015; the Fish Contaminant Advisory Workgroup from 2008 through 2010, and the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association from 2010 through 2015, even traveling to Washington, D.C., in 2011 and 2012 with the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association to brief members of the United States Congress on invasive species. Mike assisted in the development of the Baton Rouge LSU Lakes Renovation Project; and chaired various advisory and technical groups in his capacity with LDWF, including the Atchafalaya Basin Program Technical Advisory Workgroup from 2008 through 2010 and the False River Watershed Council from 2012 through 2015.
Now that he’s retired, Mike has been able to dedicate more time to the Ronald McDonald House of Northeast Louisiana – providing housing for parents of hospitalized children. He also serves as biologist for the newly created Cheniere Lake Citizen’s Advisory Committee.