SOLD $$$ VINTAGE 1973 Edition -- FISHES OF ARIZONA by Wendell Minckley


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Fishes of Arizona by Wendell Minckley is an indispensable guide for biologists & sportsmen to identifying Arizona's fish species. Published in 1973 by the Arizona Game & Fish Department and no longer in print, the 293 pg. softcover book measures 6" x 9" and contains many B&W illustrations.

My 1st edition copy, though unread, has a few pages that are loose and a bit of discoloration along the spine of the cover from nearly 50 years of shelf life. Thus, I'm pricing it accordingly in 'as-is' condition.

I will consider reasonable offers but no trades. Payment via PayPal (buyer doesn't need an acct; just a CC or checking acct.) or cash only if picked up near 67th Ave. & Camelback in Glendale, AZ. SHIPPING at buyer's expense.




The late ichthyologist Dr. Wendell Lee Minckley (1935-2001), one of the founding members of the Desert Fishes Council and a lifetime supporter of its work, will be well-known to those familar with freshwater fishes of the southwestern United States and Mexico.

He studied aquatic ecosystems and southwestern fishes, authoring a number of books, research articles and book chapters as well as co-authoring ‘Freshwater Fishes of Mexico’ with Robert Rush Miller, the latter eventually being published in 2005.

Dr. Minckley was also Professor of Life Sciences at Arizona State University in Tempe, United States for almost four decades during which time he collected an extensive library of reprints and other references with the aim of making this freely-available in an online format for all to use.

A Recent Review:

When thinking of Arizona wildlife, most people are more apt to picture snakes and lizards than fish, but in fact the state has an abundance of streams, rivers, and lakes, and these are home to a wide variety of both native and introduced fishes. This book was one of the earliest reference works to identify the fishes found in the state, and remains an indispensable guide for biologists, sportsmen, and observers of nature.

While today one is most likely to encounter various introduced species in Arizona's waterways, 100 years ago a rich and varied mixture of naturally occurring species inhabited these same waters. Whether driven out by introduced species or pushed to near-extinction by changes in habitat (such as dams), many fish that once thrived in the state are now altogether absent or are very difficult to find. From tiny minnows and chubs, to the huge Colorado River Squawfish (itself a minnow, despite its up to six-foot legnth) the unique circumstances of the desert waters made for many interesting and beautiful fish. In particular, many fishes were adapted to the cycle of drought and flood common to Arizona, and as such, took on appearances found nowhere else in the world. Most of these species are found in but a tiny area of their former ranges, if they are to be found at all, but in recent years efforts have been made to insure the continued presence of these fishes in at least small parts of the state.

The author did his research at a time when there were many individuals still to be found in the state who had clear memories of waterways such as the Colorado, Salt, and Gila Rivers when they still flowed freely, prior to the construction of major dams, as well as a time prior to the introduction of non-native fishes such as Largemouth Bass and Rainbow Trout. He has drawn heavily on these memories to help construct a book which is interesting to non-academics as well as to professionals who require a scientific work.

The author gives ample attention to non-native species which are commonly pursued by sportsmen. Some of these species, such as Brown Trout in the Little Colorado River and Yellow Bass in the lakes formed by damming the Salt River east of Phoenix, have not been stocked for decades, but have become "native" in the minds of many fishermen because they have adapted well and have become self sustaining. Unfortunately, other non-native species which are detested by almost everyone, such as Carp, have adapted very well also.

This book provides an excellent guide to help the outdoorsman locate suitable waters for a particular fish, as well as to provide excellent descriptions to aid in identification. It would serve as a superior reference to a sportsman who is fishing a remote stream where it might be more likely to encounter fishes not familiar to the fisherman, and which might be protected by law. Knowledge provided by this book might help the fisherman avoid taking a protected fish, further endangering the species and potentially resulting in a hefty fine.

"Fishes of Arizona" is a useful book for readers from states bordering Arizona as well. A resident of Southern Nevada, such as myself, might well encounter fish referenced in this work while visiting waters such as the Colorado River and the Virgin River, whose runs either form the border between the two states, or have significant portions running through both states. Lake Mead biologists working out of Las Vegas frequently reference this book.

More than 30 years since I bought my copy, I still find myself frequently consulting my now rather stained and tattered edition, well worn from heavy use. It may be time to pick up a new copy, and I thoroughly endorse this excellent guide for anyone with an interest in the fish of Arizona.

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