Yale University Press
On Sale: March 2, 2010
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Anders Halverson provides an exhaustively researched and
grippingly rendered account of the rainbow trout and why it
has become the most commonly stocked and controversial
freshwater fish in the United States. Discovered in the
remote waters of northern California, rainbow trout have
been artificially propagated and distributed for more than
130 years by government officials eager to present Americans
with an opportunity to get back to nature by going fishing.
Proudly dubbed “an entirely synthetic fish” by fisheries
managers, the rainbow trout has been introduced into every
state and province in the United States and Canada and to
every continent except Antarctica, often with devastating
effects on the native fauna. Halverson examines the
paradoxes and reveals a range of characters, from
nineteenth-century boosters who believed rainbows could be
the saviors of democracy to twenty-first-century biologists
who now seek to eradicate them from waters around the globe.
Ultimately, the story of the rainbow trout is the story of
our relationship with the natural world—how it has changed
and how it startlingly has not.
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