"Born in Oswego, N.Y., Fran's early fascination with fish and fishing began with the waters around Lake Ontario, where much of his fisheries work continues.
"His fly fishing commenced while he was young enough to run a paper route, the proceeds from which going mostly to support his growing tackle needs. As he was developing as a serious fly rodder he found the Delaware River and as a still youthful angler, he spent much time there, on the Beaverkill and other Catskill waters.
"Graduating from Oswego State, he did further work in outdoor education and natural resource management, all while beginning to earn a living guiding and otherwise working in the fishing world.
( While at Oswego State, Fran was an All-American in cross country and track. He was inducted into the Oswego State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.)
"Fifteen more years of guiding nearly took Fran firmly into the private sector working in the fishing business. This valuable experience and his keen natural awareness of the great potential of the Great Lakes fishery all served him well. He was often called upon to counsel with the New York DEC on fisheries and natural resource matters. He became a specialist with DEC, leading to his work with the hatchery at Altmar.
"Fran was instrumental in the first dam removal project on any Lake Ontario tributary. This venture soon proved to be key in restoring valuable Brook Trout spawning habitat to that stream.
"He was responsible for the first and only "fly fishing only" section on public water in New York in 1989.
"He was the lead person involved with a comprehensive habitat analysis of lands around Lake Ontario. This work was a major four year undertaking which provided a model for similar studies to be done elsewhere.
"His efforts as a spokesman for the fish pioneered the teaching of anglers that the big Pacific Salmon that entered the Lake Ontario feeder streams might indeed be taken using traditional sport fishing methods and tackle. He championed this at a time when many said that these fish could not be taken this way and that snagging of these fish should be allowed to continue.
"Fran's ethics and his resolution were ultimately key in the implementation of the "no snagging" regulations in place today, and in providing the great fishing to be found around Lake Ontario today.