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British Wildlife

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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Marine & Freshwater Biology  Fishes  Bony Fishes

Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West

By: Mark Spitzer(Author)
222 pages, 39 b/w photos
Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West
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  • Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West ISBN: 9780803265233 Hardback Mar 2017 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £21.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Fisherman Mark Spitzer takes readers on an action-packed investigation of the most fierce and fearsome freshwater grotesques of the American West ever to inspire both hatred and fascination. Through the lenses of history, folklore, biology, ecology, and politics, Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West depicts the environmental destruction plaguing the most maligned creatures in our midst while subtly interweaving Spitzer's experiences of personal tragedy and self-discovery.

Join Spitzer as he noodles for flathead catfish in Oklahoma, snags paddlefish in Missouri, trotline- and electro-fishes American eels in Arkansas, studies razorback suckers in Arizona, bounty hunts for pikeminnows in Washington State, attends a burbot festival in Utah, stirs up Asian carp in Kansas, and breaks the state record for the largest yellow bullhead ever caught in Nebraska.

By examining freakish links in a vital chain and working with specialists in the field, Spitzer portrays a planet in environmental crisis and dispels the illusion that our actions don't result in long-term, toxic consequences. Spitzer offers models for fisheries and provides other sources of hope in this informative epic of redemption that ultimately celebrates the wild and resilient beauty and remaining possibilities of the American West.


List of Illustrations

Introduction: In Wildness Is the Preservation of the Grotesque and Vice Versa
1. Nature of the American Eel: An Aquatic Phantom in Our Own Back Yard
2. Environmental Lemonade: Dealing with the Creature That Put the "Ish" in "Fish"
3. Urban Sturgeon: A Totally Unique Fishery in Portland, Oregon
4. Snagging in the Ozarks: There's Nothing Not Weird about Paddlefish
5. Alien Invaders in the West: This Isn't Kansas Anymore
6. Nebraska, Bowfin, and the $8,000 Bullhead: Or How to Catch a State Record Fish
7. Fear and Noodling in Oklahoma: How I Came in First at the Okie Noodling Tournament Then Saw the Belly of the Beast
8. Muskie Hunting in Minnesota: An Education in "the Fish of Ten Thousand Casts"
9. Vision Questing Gator Gar in the Slick Texas Mud: Garvana Accomplished!
10. Rattlesnakes at the Razorback Roundup: Working with What We've Got
11. All Hail the Pikeminnow Bounty: Applying Anamnesis in the Northwest as a Working Model for Fisheries
Conclusion: Grotesques of the West and Beyond


Customer Reviews


Mark Spitzer is an associate professor of writing at the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of several novels, poems, essays, and literary translations, including Season of the Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America's Most Misunderstood Fish and Return of the Gar. Spitzer has consulted for Nat Geo's Monster Fish and appeared on Animal Planet's River Monsters.

By: Mark Spitzer(Author)
222 pages, 39 b/w photos
Media reviews

"A wild foray into fishing the 'industrial edge,' and a marvelous read about the fish few of us will ever know."
– Kevin Mattson, avid fisherman and Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University

"Mark Spitzer fishes his way across the West, stalking unique, maligned, and ugly species while enlightening readers on their ecological roles and conservation statuses [...] A fun and, at times, hilarious adventure. Creative and unassuming, this is a wonderful addition to fishing literature."
– Jennifer Corrinne Brown, author of Trout Culture: How Fly Fishing Forever Changed the Rocky Mountain West

"Mark Spitzer manages to capture all our favorite grotesque fish in his latest frenetic adventures while making you feel like you're right there with him in the boat! He also delivers a genuine message of conservation to benefit fish and people."
– Solomon R. David, postdoctoral research associate at the John G. Shedd Aquarium

"[Spitzer's] a hard-core fisherman"
– Daryl Bauer, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Fisheries Outreach Program Manager

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