Ralph W. Abele
Conservation Heritage Award
Edward Kissell of Erie has been named the recipient of the Ralph W. Abele Conservation
Heritage Award for 2003. The honor is the highest recognition the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat
Commission can confer on persons who distinguish themselves in the cause of conservation. The
award was presented on October 22 at Presque Isle State Park.
Kissell earned recognition as the 2003 Abele Award winner through his work on many outstanding
projects. These include the Cascade Creek Adopt-A-Stream project, the Strong Vincent High School
stream bank erosion improvement project, and several Presque Isle Bay fish habitat projects. Ed
has led the fight to provide public access for the world class fisheries provided by the
Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the tributaries. His work with education
projects and in support of water safety was particularly noteworthy.
In addition, Kissell performed outstanding service with many organizations, including the
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, the recreational committee of the Erie Western Pennsylvania
Port Authority, the Erie County Coastal Zone Advisory Committee, the Erie County Environmental
Council, and, of course, the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie.
Ed Kissell was nominated for the Abele Award by Jerry Skrypzak and the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie
Fishing Club in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the cause of conservation as a
champion for angling, public access, the environment and our water resources.
“I have known Ed Kissell for many years and I am very familiar with his outstanding
volunteer work. I can think of no one more worthy of the highest recognition offered by the Fish
and Boat Commission. On behalf of myself and my fellow Commissioners, I offer Ed our heartiest
congratulations,” said Commission President Samuel M. Concilla.
According to Dennis Guise, Deputy Executive Director for the Fish and Boat Commission, “Ed
Kissell’s singularly exemplary accomplishments over a period of many years are great tributes to
his dedication and devotion to fishing and fisheries conservation. The volunteer spirit and
selfless dedication that embodied so much of Ralph Abele’s life and work are reflected by the
fine service that Ed Kissell has performed in support of fishing, conservation and education.”