Paul C. Neth

Obituary
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  • "Shirley, Kris and Lynn, Paul was a very good man who always..."
    - Judy Bachorz
  • "Shirley, The world is is richer place thanks to Paul. I..."
    - Larry Nashett
  • "Dear Shirley-- I was so sorry to hear about Paul's..."
    - Eileen Stegemann
  • "Dear Shirley, and girls: Paul was my boss at DEC in..."
    - Tony Bonavist
  • "Dear Shirley, Kris, and Lynn. My deepest sympathy. Paul..."
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Neth, Paul C. BALLSTON SPA Paul C. Neth, 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, at home, surrounded by his family, after a long period of having one foot in a drifting canoe and the other on a slippery rock. Paul was the son of German immigrant parents, Wilhelm and Eugenia Neth. Born on September 17, 1930, in Utica, Paul graduated from the Utica Free Academy in 1948. He began his college studies later that year at the New York State College of Forestry, Syracuse University and completed two years, before transferring to the New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell University, where he received his B.S. in 1952. He entered graduate school at Cornell where he lost his heart to a delightful young lady named Shirley, but still received an M.S. in 1955, and a Ph.D. in 1959, specializing in fishery Science and wildlife management. On December 19, 1953, he married Shirley A. Albrecht (the daughter of Frank and Harriet Albrecht of Little Falls) who, at the time was executive secretary to Dr. Gustav Swanson, head of the Ag School's Conservation Department. Shirley later confided to her children that she snared Paul, then a poor, struggling, starving graduate student, with two tickets to "The Mikado" and a large pan of delectable, creamy brownies. He also thought she was hot! Although being quite naive about such matters, he wasn't sure what that meant. Paul began his career as an aquatic biologist at the New York State Conversation Department's Ray Brook office in 1957. In 1962 he was appointed Regional Fisheries manager for Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties. In 1969, he accepted statewide responsibilities in New York's fisheries program when he transferred to the Albany Central Office and became federal aid coordinator for the Division of Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Fisheries. In 1973, he was promoted to Fisheries Research supervisor with responsibility for all contract research and special study projects being funded by the Bureau. This position later evolved into that of Inland Fisheries Section Head when he assumed broad programmatic and administrative responsibilities involving nearly all aspects of New York's freshwater fisheries endeavors, excluding the Great Lakes. During his career, he contributed to many of the successful and productive fisheries programs of the 1970's and 1980's that placed New York's sport fishing opportunities among the best in the U.S. He was deeply involved in the early stages of the Great Lakes salmonid program, the landlocked salmon and wild brook trout programs, American shad restoration in the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers, and especially the fisheries management of the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. He also dealt with many controversial issues ranging from protection of Hudson River striped bass to sea lamprey control in Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and Lake Champlain. He truly enjoyed his long association with D.E.C. and its superb and talented fisheries staff. His work brought him into contact with many outstanding professionals in related fields, including law and engineering, scientists at universities in New York, Vermont and Canada and involvement in interstate and international commissions. These experts were often deeply involved in New York fisheries programs and contributed greatly to their success. Paul retired from D.E.C. in 1990. He received Departmental Service awards for the work of his teams on sea lamprey control in Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and development of commercial fishing regulations for striped bass in the Hudson River. The eight-year experimental Lake Champlain sea lamprey control project, in which he and many others were involved, received the 1999 Excellence in Sport Fisheries Management Award by the American Sport Fishing Association and the Best Fisheries Management Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration Project Award by the Fisheries Administrators Section of the American Fisheries Society. He loved the out-of-doors and especially treasured the memories of many exploratory canoeing and camping trips to the Adirondacks and Maine with Shirley and his daughters. In the early stages of his life he enjoyed trapping and hunting, especially bow hunting, and could, many years later, still count the number of trees that jumped in front his well-directed arrows at the last moment to save a deer. His only peer at this skill was his father, who set an even higher standard for impaling trees. His interest in fishing intensified as he aged and he spent many hours bouncing about on the waves of Lake Champlain in his 17-foot rowing canoe, "The Lamprey Suck II" while turkey vultures circled overhead, licking their beaks, anticipated and easy, if somewhat fatty, meal. He also spent an inordinate amount of time on Adirondack trout ponds watching loons and otters outfish him and cursing his luck for not having been born with webbed feet and a serrated beak so that he could at least be competitive with his feathered and furry associates. He and Shirley spent many pleasant fall days at Cape Cod with friends where he and his buddy "Grif" enthusiastically sought out striped bass and bluefish and occasionally caught some. He enjoyed travelling with Shirley (Alaska and Nova Scotia were highlights), reading, good music and complaining about politicians. He loved puttering around their property, doing maintenance on Shirley's 1001 horticultural delights. Paul was a member of the American Fisheries Society and its Northeast Division and New York Chapter. He was the first president of the New York Chapter and over time served various committee functions in each. Paul leaves behind his wife, the love of his life and dearest friend, Shirley Albrecht Neth, with whom he had many great adventures during their 62 years of marriage; two extraordinary daughters, intelligent, capable and with great heart, in whom he had great pride, Kristina Neth and Lynn Jessee; two delightfully challenging and loving grandchildren, Erin and Alex Jessee; sons-in-law, Michael Houghton and Bret Jessee; sisters, Rosemary Dickson and Dorothea Wolf; brothers-in-law, James Dickson, Robert Albrecht, David Albrecht; and cousins Hanna Suppe and Janet Charlebois; several nieces and nephews and many dear friends. At Paul's request, there will be no services. Paul and his family would like to thank the staff of Community Hospice of Saratoga for their efficient and caring services. Memorial contributions in memory of Paul may be made to The Community Hospice, 295 Valley View Blvd., Rensselaer, NY 12144 or a . This obituary was written by Paul himself, a prolific writer and man of great wit and humor.
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Published in Albany Times Union on Sept. 8, 2016
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