The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon and Trout
Few subjects have generated as much emotional dialogue around conflicting scientific and policy agendas as the protection and management of Pacific salmon resources. In this major new work, esteemed fisheries expert Thomas Quinn distills from the vast scientific literature the essential information on the behaviour and ecology of Pacific salmon, including steelhead and cutthroat trout. Unlike other books that examine only selected life stages, habitats, or species, this book – richly illustrated with beautiful photographs and original artwork – thoroughly covers the complete life cycle, emphasizing common themes and differences among the various species of salmon.
Representing the range of species and geographic regions, Quinn includes examples from classic studies by pioneers of salmon biology and from the most current research in order to illustrate the important features of salmon life history and behaviour and the complex physical, biological, and human factors that affect them. He introduces salmon and trout as a group, with a brief description of each species, and compares them to other fishes. The book then follows salmon on their amazing homeward migration from the open ocean, through the complex coastal waters, upstream to the precise location where they were spawned years earlier.
The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon and Trout explains the patterns of mate choice, the competition for nest sites, and the fate of the salmon after their death. It describes the lives of offspring during the months they spend incubating in gravel, growing in fresh water, and migrating out to sea to mature. Quinn emphasizes the importance of salmon to humans and natural ecosystems and the need to integrate sound biology into conservation efforts.
This thorough, up-to-date survey should be on the shelf of everyone with a professional or personal interest in Pacific salmon and trout. Written in a technically accurate but engaging style, it will appeal to a wide range of readers, including students, anglers, biologists, conservationists, legislators, and armchair naturalists.
[a] readable book aimed not only at scientists and academics but also at “ordinary” people who just want to learn more about these ecologically and economically important animals… One of the ways in which this book manages to communicate such an extensive amount of information is through its excellent organization… As a fish biologist, I was immensely pleased to hear of the publication of this book. (And even more pleased when asked to review it). I read it cover to cover and enjoyed every minute. While a non-“fish person” may not share the extent of my enthusiasm, I would bet that any naturalist with an appreciation or concern for the natural environments of the Pacific Northwest would never regret adding this book to their collection. Salmon have played such a prominent role in our social and ecological history: let us arm ourselves with knowledge of their fascinating life histories and ecological importance as we fight for their conservation and survival into the future.
There is perhaps no one more qualified than Levings to take on this task. His extensive knowledge of salmonid ecology in estuaries stems from a prolific research career, spanning nearly half a century, as a government and academic scientist. The result is an exceptionally comprehensive, meticulously researched, and well written book.
No book on salmon and salmon ecosystems is as well integrated or as up-to-date as this one. Thomas Quinn has brought together a wealth of information on salmon behaviour, life history, and ecology.
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