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News Dec 11, 2009 - 3:13 PM

CT DEP announces new publication, “A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut”


Just in time for Holiday gift giving

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Ever see or catch a fish that you couldn’t identify because it didn’t look like any of the tiny photos or line drawings in your field guide? For New Englanders, those times are over. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announces a new publication; “A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut” that may be purchased for $19.95. This guide and other environmental books and gifts are available at DEP Headquarters, 79 Elm Street, Hartford. For deliveries after the holidays, online orders may be placed by visiting: www.ctdepstore.com.

DEP Store Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m.., Closed December 24 – 25, 2009
Phone: (860) 424-3555
E-mail: dep.store@ct.gov
Visit www.ct.gov/dep for directions

Written by DEP staff Robert P. Jacobs and Eileen B. O’Donnell, “A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut” is the first publication to present multiple, high resolution, full-color photos of most New England and all Connecticut freshwater fish species, including all anadromous species and occasional visitors from salt water. Jacobs photographed many of the fish for the book. The publication of “A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut” was funded by the sale of a previous DEP fisheries publication.

“We’re especially pleased to be able to make this new resource available to the public in time for the holiday shopping season,” said Amey Marrella, Commissioner of DEP. “This highly attractive and easy to use book makes the perfect gift for anyone with an interest in nature and the outdoors. Featuring more than 240 color photos and 82 fish species, anglers, nature lovers, teachers, students, scientists, and the general public will all find this book an excellent resource. We’re hoping that this book will attract new interest in our state’s aquatic resources.”

The typical field guide format illustrates only one photo per animal which cannot express the variation in form and color that is common among fish species. This guide presents an assortment of large, color photos for most fish species to aid in identification and illustrate the variety to be found in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. Most photos are portraits taken of fishes caught in Connecticut that show what a fish looks like “in the hand.” In addition, aquarium shots are presented for some species because colors and patterns look different underwater. Also included are photos of juvenile fish, which can look very different from adults of the same species.

This field guide simplifies the process of fish identification for beginners. Included is an easy-to-see graphic, “Guide to Families of Connecticut Freshwater Fishes.” Readers can easily find the correct “fish family” on the graphic, which will direct them to a section of the book with photographs where they can narrow down the field and make identification easy and fun. For those more scientifically inclined, the book also contains a standard taxonomic key to fish families and species.

Besides the photos, detailed information is presented for each species on identification, distribution, size, abundance, habits, how to observe and catch them, and what’s unique about them. It also includes special sections on how to catch and observe fish in nature, including tips on angling and snorkeling and how to keep freshwater fish in aquariums.

The book is dedicated to the late Walter R. Whitworth, who wrote the definitive work on our state’s fishes, “Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut” which was first published in 1968 with a 2nd edition in 1996. The new book is not designed to replace this publication, but to act as an update, supplement and companion to his work.

The DEP store is offering a special “combo” deal where customers can purchase the new Pictorial Guide and receive a significant price break on its companion book, the 1996 edition of Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. Call the DEP Store at (860) 424-3555 for more information.

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