Learn About…Texas Freshwater Fishes, by TPWD

Learn About…Texas Freshwater Fishes, by TPWD
My two boys, Rhodes and Foster, recently showed up with a copy of a book called Learn About…Texas Freshwater Fishes. They picked up the book in the gift shop of the Dinosaur Museum in Sattler, TX. The three of us sat down and started thumbing through the pages looking at the diagrams of different baitfish and gamefish that live in Texas lakes and streams. Several hours later, the boys were outside throwing stuff, but I was still reading through the book wishing I would have had it years ago in my college ichthyology days. Seriously… although this book is geared toward kids, it is thoroughly educational and useful for adults as well.

Learn About…Texas Freshwater Fishes is advertised as a “learning activity book,” meaning the educational information is made more kid-friendly through the addition of puzzles, posters, and games inserted at the end of the book. Yes, those activities are fun for youngsters, but this book isn’t just for kids. Learn About…Texas Freshwater Fishes is part activity book, part textbook. Besides the fun and games, it covers the history, taxonomy, anatomy, and development of Texas freshwater fishes. Best of all, it doesn’t sugar-coat the vocabulary or skip the details.

Do you have a hard time correctly identifying that minnow in the bottom of your dip net? Well… virtually any sort of mysterious finned species you might stumble upon in a lake or river is listed in this book. The species are organized taxonomically and the diagrams of the various species are accompanied by information on feeding habits, life history, and those cool State distribution diagrams.

Do you know how many different shiners there are in Texas lakes and streams? Could you identify them? How about lampreys? Can you tell the difference between a ganoid scale and a ctenoid scale? What are breeding tubercles and which fish have them? Which is more ancient, a gar or a sturgeon? Learn About… Texas Freshwater Fishes can provide you with the answers to these questions and teach you so much more.

I really enjoyed Learn About…Texas Freshwater Fishes. If
you have an interest in fish, I think you will too. Get a copy for your kids… they’ll have fun with it. When they’re through, you can sneak it away and buff up on your own fish knowledge. There is a lot to learn. Just look between the bream chowder recipe and the sunfish seek-and-find!

Learn About… Texas Freshwater Fishes
Texas Parks and Wildlife publication
92 pp. Texas Parks and Wildlife Press
iSBn: 1-885696-36-1