California Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Dies Snorkeling in Hawaii

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    twitter.com/@miketaugher
    Taugher is seen in this Twitter profile image.

    A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has died while snorkeling in Hawaii.
     
    Fifty-year-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.

    "On behalf of the Governor and the entire Brown Administration, I want to extend my most sincere condolences to the family of Mike Taugher," California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird said in a statement. "I worked with him both as a reporter and in his role at Fish and Wildlife. It was clear that the Contra Costa Times was lucky to have him as a reporter, and we were equally as lucky to work with such a talented media professional."

    Taugher also previously worked for the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico, the Greeley Tribune in Colorado and for two newspapers at Lake Tahoe.

    "Mike brought such enthusiasm and positivity to his work," CDFW Director Charlton Bonham said in a statement. "This loss is heartbreaking."