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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Preface,   pp. ix-x PDF (623.3 KB)

Page ix

The idea of a fish book took root in the late 1940s when I became aware that
there was no single up-to-date work available on the fishes of Wisconsin-a
state renowned for its lakes, streams, and fishing. The need for a Fishes
of Wis- 
consin became obvious when I began teaching ichthyology in the early 1960s
discovered that to properly identify the many species scattered in Wisconsin
waters, I had to consult a number of reference books and texts, since there
no single work providing adequate keys and other identification information.
Source books to which I had to make constant reference were Fishes of the
Lakes Region by Hubbs and Lagler (1964), Northern Fishes by Eddy and Surber
(1947), Iowa Fish and Fishing by Harlan and Speaker and keys by R. M. Bailey
(1956), and The Fishes of Illinois by Forbes and Richardson (1920). 
  I began making fish collections in 1958, and in the early 1960s the program
was greatly expanded with the help of teams of students. Each team, working
in a designated area of the state, brought the collections of preserved fishes
the university laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and
my help sorted, identified, and recorded them. The master sheets for these
lections provided the bases of the distribution maps for the species. Many
mens from the collections contributed to the establishment of a division
of fishes 
in the Museum of Natural History at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The thousands of specimens housed in the museum form the core of the present
  After the completion of my Inland Fishes of the Lake Michigan Drainage
Basin in 
early 1976, I began pulling together the species accounts for the Fishes
of Wiscon- 
sin. A wealth of information was available in Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources research reports and technical bulletins, most of which dealt with
sport species. I searched the literature to provide a basic life history
for each 
species, including behavior and ecological requirements. I learned that for
nongame species very little is known. Unfortunately some of these are rare

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