Fishes of Wisconsin
By George C. Becker
George C. Becker’s Fishes of Wisconsin was the first comprehensive survey of the state’s fish species and the environmental challenges they face. Published in 1983, it remains the seminal reference to 157 fish species found in Wisconsin, many which are also found throughout much of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.
Becker began collecting specimens in 1958, the summer after he started teaching at UW–Stevens Point. His entire family participated in the field work, with help from hundreds of ichthyology students over the course of 18 years.
Wisconsin’s Water Library coordinated with the University of Wisconsin Press and University of Wisconsin Digital Collections to digitize the 1,052-page book and make it available for free on online.
A helpful companion resource, Wisconsin Fishes 2000 by John Lyons, is available from the ASC Publications Store aqua.wisc.edu/publications. Also available online for free, is the Wisconsin Fish Identification Database at www.wiscfish.org/fishid. Produced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the UW Center for Limnology, and UW Sea Grant, the site features more than 4,000 photos covering all 162 native Wisconsin species and 12 invasive species that have taken up residence in the state’s waters. It also includes a taxonomic key, an illustrated guide to fish anatomy, and an illustrated glossary.