News Release: March 2, 2021
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.VA. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources recognized Jackson County veterinarian Bill Casto on Feb. 21 for his service to the agency over the years.
“A native of West Virginia, Dr. Casto has a passion for the outdoors and regularly volunteered to help with a variety of wildlife research and management projects,” said WVDNR Wildlife Resources Section Chief Paul Johansen. “He has been a dear friend and trusted colleague of the agency. His dedicated work as a veterinarian and passion for West Virginia’s farms and wildlife are greatly appreciated and will be long remembered.”
Casto played a major role in the southern West Virginia black bear project. Research protocols called for surgical implantation of telemetry transmitters in the abdomen of adult female bears, which were captured and transported to Casto’s veterinary clinic for surgery. As the program expanded, he performed field surgeries in the winter at bear dens. He also helped the agency with preparation and protocols for the release of elk into the wild in West Virginia.
Born and raised in Tug Fork near Ripley, Casto graduated from West Virginia University and the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 30 years in private practice in Kanawha and Jackson counties. He also served as assistant state veterinarian for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, as a veterinary medical officer for West Virginia with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and later as the assistant area veterinarian in charge for USDA.
After his 46-year career, Dr. Casto retired last December. Dr. Casto also recently received the Distinguished West Virginian Award from Gov. Jim Justice.