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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
(1983)

Preface,   pp. ix-x PDF (623.3 KB)


Page x

 
x    Preface 
only in Wisconsin but throughout their ranges. The accounts for these species
are often fragmentary, and they point up the need for careful investigation
to 
ensure the continued existence of such species. 
  As I prepared the distribution maps, it became evident that an irretrievable
loss had occurred in the fish resource. Some species were extirpated. The
spe- 
cies composition of Lake Michigan had changed radically within a few decades:
in some basins several species had been completely eliminated, and exotic
fishes 
had established successful populations, especially in waters undergoing exten-
sive man-related changes. The fish complex was changing rapidly in parts
of 
the state-much too rapidly to predict a secure future for some species. 
  My concern resulted in the preparation of introductory sections of text
dealing 
with the water resource as it affects the fishes; past and present changes
in water 
quality and anticipated effects if present demands for water continue; our
early 
handling of the fishery resource, the manipulation of the fishery resource
today, 
and the future values of fishes. I have suggested changes in management which
may help to restore an ailing fish resource. Remedial action may be costly
to 
implement, but this cost will be insignificant compared with the cost to
our 
children who must mourn the missing pieces and who must struggle to reas-
semble the ecological disruptions we leave behind. 
  My taxonomic keys have been tested in a number of fish laboratories, and
criticisms and suggestions have been honored in the latest revisions. But
be- 
cause fish did not evolve into species all fitting neatly into the slots
provided 
within an artificial key, the key may break down unexpectedly. I would appre-
ciate hearing from readers regarding problems with the keys. 
  I am also aware that in the life history accounts new knowledge will replace
or modify old knowledge. It is difficult to keep abreast of all publications,
bits 
of unpublished research, and isolated but important pieces of information.
I 
therefore welcome such information and encourage you to write to me at the
Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Your sugges-
tions will ensure a better future edition. 


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