Bay Nature magazineOctober-December 2002


Book Review: Inland Fishes of California

October 1, 2002

by Peter Moyle

University of California Press, 2002

502 pages, $70

In this revision of his 1976 classic, biologist Peter Moyle has once again collected in one place the information available on California’s inland fishes and created a masterful snapshot of the state’s fisheries. Not a field guide that you can stuff into your back pocket, this volume is instead a comprehensive resource. The heart of the book is the individual profiles of each of the 66 freshwater, estuarine, and anadromous fishes native to California, and the 51 alien species now established in the state. Each profile includes a line-drawing portrait, a distribution map, and a full description of the fish’s physical characteristics, distribution, life history and ecology, and conservation status. Through all of the data and research, Moyle’s concerns are clear. “Native fishes are rapidly being lost,” he states, with current research showing that “58 percent of all inland fish species of California are extinct or in serious decline.”

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