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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

Oct. 11, 2013

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council recognizes DNR officer

Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council awarded the 2012 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award to L/Cpl Henry “Huger” McClellan of the S.C. Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) Law Enforcement Division. L/Cpl McClellan was presented the prestigious award by newly-elected Council Chairman Ben Hartig during the Council’s September meeting in Charleston. The award, acknowledging service above and beyond duty requirements, recognizes distinctive service, professionalism and dedication to enforcing fisheries regulations in the South Atlantic region. Nominees may be submitted from each of the southeastern state law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and NOAA Fisheries. The Council’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel selected three of the five nominees for 2012 for consideration by the Council.

Law enforcement is an integral component of the fishery management process. To recognize its importance, the Council initiated the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award in 2010 to recognize outstanding contributions made by law enforcement personnel. During the ceremony to honor L/Cpl McClellan, Chairman Hartig announced, “L/Cpl Huger McClellan was nominated by his peers for going above and beyond the call of duty to enforce federal marine fisheries laws and to help conserve our important marine fishery resources. On behalf of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and our federal partners, I want to congratulate L/Cpl McClellan on being selected as the Council’s outstanding law enforcement officer of the year for 2012.” L/Cpl McClellan was accompanied by several of his fellow officers at the meeting and received a standing ovation for his service.

“This is a tremendous honor for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the men and women that serve in its Law Enforcement Division,” stated the Division’s Deputy Director, Colonel Chisolm Frampton. “L/Cpl McClellan is an extremely dedicated officer and is well-respected by both his peers and the public. He is always willing to go the extra mile.”

Based in the fishing port of McClellanville, South Carolina, L/Cpl McClellan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in commercial fisheries enforcement. Prior to joining the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, he was a successful shrimp trawl captain and actively engaged in the commercial fishing industry. L/Cpl McClellan routinely assists both state and federal law enforcement/conservation agencies and has conducted over twenty commercial fisheries offloads, often assisting NOAA Federal Agents. L/Cpl McClellan has also conducted numerous offshore patrols in support of the Joint Enforcement Agreement with NOAA Law Enforcement.

L/Cpl McClellan also takes great pride in assisting the public and providing education on federal and state fisheries laws. He is often found walking both commercial and recreational docks, speaking with captains and crews and offering compliance checks in order to ensure they are successful in their fishing trips while complying with all regulations.L/Cpl McClellan

L/Cpl McClellan has developed and conducted a region wide training program on proper case preparation for successful shrimp trawl cases. He conducts detailed hands on training about inspection and compliance with regulations for both state and federal enforcement officers. He willingly uses his expertise in marine fisheries enforcement to prepare and conduct training for newly hired officers and he is readily available to answer questions concerning commercial cases and TED inspections.

With over 450 contacts in 2012 alone, L/Cpl McClellan has successfully prosecuted three cases for trawling in closed waters and prosecuted five federal shark fisheries cases. He has conducted numerous courtesy TED/BRD dockside inspections to ensure state and federal compliance. His continual presence in and around his patrol area and his vast knowledge of commercial fisheries solidifies the trust of the citizens and instills apprehension in violators. Under the Joint Enforcement Agreement, L/Cpl McClellan routinely makes offshore patrols to recreational and commercial fishing grounds, including marine protected areas within federal waters.

“L/Cpl McClellan not only has deep respect and pride for DNR Law Enforcement, he has great pride in his country,” said Colonel Frampton. “He is a decorated soldier who served in the Gulf War. Huger’s honor, respect, and duty is carried over into his career as a Conservation Officer.” When not patrolling the woods and waters of SCDNR Law Enforcement Region 4, L/Cpl McClellan can be found hunting, fishing, boating and spending quality time with his wife and three daughters.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils, conserves and manages fish stocks from three to 200 miles offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida.

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