With illustrator Joseph Tomelleri, Tom Dickson has created a beautiful, informative book on the many varieties of fish found in Minnesota’s ponds, rivers, and 10,000 lakes. The Great Minnesota Fish Book is a resource for the avid fisherperson or for the curious browser. Dickson doesn’t miss a fish, providing insight on more than 150 species: he devotes as much attention to the pirate perch as to Minnesota’s state fish the walleye (Sander Vitreus).
|The Great Minnesota Fish Book by Tom Dickson. Published by the University of Minnesota Press (2008). $34.95.|
In the book, the varieties of fish spicies are broken into three categories: “game fish,” “rough fish,” and “little-known fish.” The amount of information provided on the fish varies, but every species merits a full-color illustration, the species’s scientific name, and other pertinent information such as preferred habitat and food preference. Spending some time with this amazing resource will expand one’s knowledge and interest in the many fish found throughout the state.
It’s clear that Dickson is a fisherman himself and understands what fishing means to so many Minnesotans. In the introduction (“The Opener”), he explains tat “every Minnesotan knows something about the state’s iconic fish, the walleye, if only that it tastes great sautéed in butter. But few people have heard of the brook stickleback…or that the walleye’s tiny cousin is the fantail darter.” Dickson is right: most Minnesotans will recognize the majority of the fish categorized as “game fish,” but beyond that you are bound to find some surprises.
The Great Minnesota Fish Book belongs on every Minnesota cabin’s coffee table. No matter your age or experience, you’ll learn something new on every page.
Lifelong fisherman John Hierlinger (firstname.lastname@example.org) is director of education and family ministry at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Fridley.