Update 5:48 p.m.: Fish and Wildlife department mourns loss of spokesman
Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Jordan Traverso said spokesman Michael Taugher will be greatly missed.
The 51-year-old Taugher died Saturday while snorkeling in Hawaii with his family.
"He was wildly intelligent and really super positive person. He brought out warmth and professionalism to his job; that is incredibly rare. Even though he was only here only a little bit more than a year, he made a real impact," Traverso said.
No word yet on funeral arrangements.
11:36 a.m.: Fish and Wildlife spokesman dies at 51
A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has died while snorkeling in Hawaii. He was 51 years old.
Michael Taugher was found unresponsive in the water Saturday. The Maui News reports lifeguards, firefighters and paramedics tried to revive Taugher of Benicia, Calif.
Taugher had been snorkeling with family members when he disappeared.
Police spokesman William Juan says no foul play is suspected.
The San Jose Mercury News reports Taugher was a reporter for the Contra Costa Times from 2000 to 2012. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him as the assistant deputy director of communications, education and outreach for the state wildlife agency in May 2012.
Taugher also previously worked for the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico, the Greeley Tribune in Colorado and for two newspapers in Lake Tahoe.