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The Quest for the Golden Trout
Environmental Loss and America’s Iconic Fish
Douglas M. Thompson

2013 • 324 pp. 13 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Fish / Conservation / Fishing

$29.95 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-319-6

$24.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-482-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“[Thompson’s] advice is to leave streams alone, to avoid stream-bank stabilization work, to avoid artificial devices that alter flows, to ensure stream-banks are vegetated as a buffer against pollution and thermal pollution.”—Hartford Courant

A river advocate and environmentalist questions some of the unsound methods of conservation and restoration imposed on North American rivers and streams

The angler’s dream of fishing pristine waters in unspoiled country for sleek, healthy trout has turned fishing into a form of theater. It is a manufactured experience—much to the detriment of our rivers and streams. Americans’ love of trout has reached a level of fervor that borders on the religious. Federal and state agencies, as well as nongovernmental lobbying groups, invest billions of dollars on river restoration projects and fish-stocking programs. Yet, their decisions are based on faulty logic and risk destroying species they are tasked with protecting. River ecosystems are modified with engineered structures to improve fishing, native species that compete with trout are eradicated, and nonnative invasive game fish are indiscriminately introduced, genetically modified, and selectively bred to produce more appealing targets for anglers—including the freakishly contrived “golden trout.”
The Quest for the Golden Trout is about looking at our nation’s rivers with a more critical eye—and asking more questions about both historic and current practices in fisheries management.

Visit the author's website here.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

The Quest for the Golden Trout is about looking at our nation’s rivers with a more critical eye—and asking more questions about both historic and current practices in fisheries management.”—Northeastern Naturalist

"[A] strong indictment of historical and modern policies leading to stream degradation and loss of native fauna solely for quenching anglers' insatiable thirst for nonnative trout. . . . Valuable for environmental science students, government employees developing/implementing aquatic polices, and environmentally concerned freshwater anglers. . . . Recommended."—Choice

"People who love to fish for native trout, and who work to support sustainable native salmonid fisheries in naturally behaving streams that have true biodiversity will see Thompson's work as a needed call-to-arms." —The Salter, the quarterly newsletter of the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition

“In a highly critical new book that challenges conventional thinking on trout fishing and trout fisheries management, a Connecticut College professor argues that trout hatcheries, river restoration projects and trout habitat enhancements on streams often do more environmental harm than good.”—
Hartford Courant

“Part environmental history, part passionate cry for a saner system of river management, Thompson’s book will make any angler (myself included) reconsider their place within aquatic ecosystems.”—
New Books in Environmental Studies

The Quest for the Golden Trout is not an easy read for anyone who loves fly fishing, but I feel strongly that every one of us who is passionate about trout and trout fishing should read this book, if only to view our passion through the critical lens of one who deeply understands rivers and their ecosystems. While I’m not about to give up fishing, or my support of wildlife agencies through license fees because of having read The Quest for the Golden Trout, I will vow to (even) more stridently advocate for wild rivers, and healthy ecosystems over convenient, artificial trout fishing. It is time for us to discard the conceits of the past and approach our watersheds and their fisheries in a sustainable and science based way.”—RageAgainsttheDams

The Quest for the Golden Trout provides a great deal of important information about historical fisheries management in the United States.”—The Association of American Geographers Review of Books

“An engaging history that channels an angler’s passion through the eyes of a geologist to expose the illusory naturalness of New England’s streams—and the fishy side of river restoration. Whether you are hooked on streams or trout, Thompson will reel you in.” —David R. Montgomery, author of King of Fish, Dirt, and The Rocks Don’t Lie

“A reminder, both lyrical and careful, of how much we’ve lost of wild America—and of how we might regain at least a little ground.” —Bill McKibben, author Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist

“Thompson’s book is more than a history of a fish, it is a lens through which to view America’s complex and often confused attempts to manage and restore nature. Trout have swam through the hidden pools of American history.” —Martin Doyle, Duke University

“The most complete analysis I have seen of the effects of recreational angling on river ecosystems in the United States. I expect this book to be important and influential, and to become the reference for people concerned about river health, natural history of rivers, river restoration and management, and recreational trout fishing.” —Ellen Wohl, author of A World of Rivers

DOUGLAS M. THOMPSON is director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment at Connecticut College.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:07:55 -0500