Book Reviews of Guide To California Freshwater Fishes.

1. "Anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts need an occasional kick in the whatever to remind them of California's history of water politics and how our free-flowing rivers became a series of lakes backed up behind dams to provide water to farmers and power to cities.

"Bob Madgic's A Guide to California's Freshwater Fishes offers an excellent summary of this ecologically disastrous past. The presentation is straightforward - no hand-wringing. He lets the facts speak for themselves.

"As for the fish themselves, they are logically grouped into coldwater game fish, warmwater game fish and non-game fish. Each fish gets a detailed and interesting description, along with a first-rate illustration by William L. Crary." (Bill Sunderland, California Fly Fisher, Oct. 1999)

2."Bob Madgic has produced a very useful reference book that provides students, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts with information on the history, description, and preservation issues of California's freshwater fisheries. The book is well illustrated with numerous photographs and superb watercolors (worth the cost of the book) of over 64 freshwater fish in California." (Michael Brugh, Sierra Club Bonanza, Feb/March 2000)

3."For everything you ever wanted to know-and then some-about California's 116 native freshwater fishes, you need search no further than this wonderful guide.

"The user-friendliness is enhanced by maps, definitions of technical terms (e.g., anadromous, race, strain and species), distinctions among Endangered Species Act categories and a ranking of threats to survival.

"Up-to-date information about introduced and/or hatchery fish, grazing, agriculture, roads, dams, pesticides, logging, development and other forms of habitat destruction supports Madgic's predictions about the likelihood of survival of California's native freshwater fishes."(Gail Sellstrom,ECONEWS, Oct. 1999)

4. As its title suggests, this is an illustrated guide to not just trout, but all of California's freshwater fishes. William Crary's illustrations are quite good and the text describing each fish family and major species is straightforward and to the point. With this guide, you should be able to identify any fish caught in California's fresh waterways. (David S. Smith Sierra Heritage, July/August 2000)

5. "...Intended as a book for the lay person, A Guide to California's Freshwater Fishes...succeeds in clearly telling the sad history of California freshwater fishes, celebrating the diversity of freshwater fish that exists in the golden state, and relaying the efforts needed to protect them. As Madgic points out, fish are the most important indicator of aquatic diversity; they signal the health of our waterways, and therefore in some ways the state of the planet....With wonderful illustrations of California fish by Crary, and pictures of stream and river habitat, A Guide to California's Freshwater Fishes provides a sense of the diversity and wonder that can be found in the fresh waters of California. The magnificent residents include the migrating salmon and the prehistoric sturgeon. Some of the information provided (such as the records of the largest fish caught in the state) beckon the reader to come and fish in California. As Madgic points out, this desire of fishermen to catch fish has resulted in many of the state's efforts to make sure California's fish do not disappears. (Ryder W. Miller, Electronic Green Journal, Spring 2001 - Earthday)

6. "Fish are vital creatures in the web of life, sources of food for people, mammals, and birds, objects of recreation for countless individuals, and the basis for millions of jobs. As the most important indicator of aquatic diversity, fish provide information about the health of waterways, the environment, and ultimately the planet.

At one time California possessed one of the world's richest freshwater fisheries. Each year millions of salmon migrated up the state's innumerable rivers and streams to spawn. They included chinook or king salmon, coho or silver salmon, chum, pink, and occasionally sockeye salmon. Another ocean-run fish, the anadromous rainbow trout, now called steelhead for their steel blue topside, fought their way up crashing waterways, often reaching the headwaters of pristine mountain rivers and streams. The abundant salmon and steelhead population provided Native Americans with a staple food source and a foundation for their culture....Freshwater fish species in California are now in serious trouble. Of the 116 native fishes, over two-thirds are considered species of special concern (a state designation)...

A Guide to California's Freshwater Fishes presents ways that fish can be grouped for identification and study purposes, a rationale on the ecological importance of native fish species, and an identification of habitat conditions necessary for maintaining healthy fisheries. It contains a brief history of California fishes, from the once-abundant coldwater fishery native to the state, to the many introduced species brought to California. The impact of dams, reservoirs, and hatcheries is discussed, as well as the significance of governmental legislation such as the Federal Endangered Species Act. This guide will assist anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, students, and others interested in the natural world in identifying and learning more about the fish species occupying California's waters. In addition to beautiful and informative illustrations, it presents important background and current status reports on the state's precious natives and many introduced species now dominating the rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs in the Golden State. (Biology Digest, October 1999.)