Hanging up his hat
Steinwand retires as N.D. Game and Fish director
BY ALYSSA MEIER
After just under 40 years working for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Garrison native Terry Steinwand will put a close to the chapter next month.
Steinwand, a Garrison High School graduate of the class of 1971, retires next month as the director of the state game and fish department, where he’s worked since 1982.
Looking back at his youth, Steinwand says his life on a farm east of Garrison may have hinted at his future career.
“I enjoyed going out in pasture, was outside constantly,” Steinwand said. “I did get my love of the outdoors there just by watching nature, being curious as to ‘Why does this happen?’ and ‘how does this work?’”
Steinwand said he had a passion for hunting and fishing from a young age and, noting that his dad was regularly too busy, friendly locals would take him out.
“I started fishing when I was about seven,” Steinwand said. “Old neighbors would take me out.”
On his way to obtaining a master’s degree in biology from the University of North Dakota, Steinwand said he met other students with similar passions, and his interest in game and fish was born.
“I thought, ‘These people have the same interests as I do,’ and I was kind of like a gut hooked fish,” Steinwand said. “You couldn’t get it out of me.”
Steinwand got his first experience in the industry as a seasonal employee at Spirit Lake north of Jamestown, where he got a job in 1976. In 1982, he was hired full time as a fisheries biologist for the Garrison Diversion Unit, launching him into a career with N.D. Game and Fish that would last decades.