Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre

David McKee
Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre
Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre; A Guide for Anglers and Naturalists, is written by David A. McKee and published by Texas A&M University Press.

Dr. McKee is a professor of biology at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, where he is also coordinator of the mariculture graduate degree program and associate director of the Laguna Madre Field Station. In addition to his teaching marine ecology and ichthyology, he is also a member of the executive board of the Corpus Christi Chapter CCA Texas.

Dr. McKee is a lifelong fisher of the Texas Laguna Madre, a self-confessed "lagunatic" and has a great passion for the region. A fisherman in heart and soul, Dr. McKee looks at the Laguna Madre through the eyes of an angler as well as a scientist. Hence his style in presenting science that is as informative as it is easy to read.

Fishes of the Laguna Madre
is more than a guide to fish identification, way more. It begins with history of the magical region we call Baffin Bay and the Laguna Madre and describes the processes of how our coast was formed. Detailed accounts of natural events; killer freezes, red tides, and hyper-salinity fish kills help the reader gain an appreciation for the delicate balance of its ecology. Discussion of the formation of Baffin's famed "rocks" and what has occurred as man tramples with wading boots, boat hulls, lower units and propellers is both enlightening and sad.

As a guide to fish identification, Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre deserves a place on every naturalist's and angler's book shelf. McKee describes species in terms a layman can grasp and provides insight into the role they play in the ecosystem.

One of the greatest attributes of this book is the conservation theme. Conservation ethic seems to grow proportionate to our development as anglers. Dr. McKee is a true conservationist and has devoted much time and effort to CCA Texas. The encouragement of greater stewardship of Texas' marine resources comes through very clearly in his book. Born and raised on the coast during an era when the ocean's bounty was believed endless, Dr. McKee takes care to explain the anglers role in insuring that these treasures will survive and be available to future generations.

Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre makes a great addition to any angler's library. If the allure, mystique and history of the Texas Laguna Madre capture your fancy as they do mine, and if you enjoy keeping an excellent fish identification guide handy, I call it a must have and a must read. Father's Day is coming; this book would make any angling dad smile. Look for it in Barnes and Noble stores or do a search.