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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new guide for naturalists and anglers alike, 4 Oct 2013
By 
Christopher J. Sharpe "Chris Sharpe" (Caracas, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Britain's Wildlife) (Paperback)
There have been quite a number of guides to British freshwater fish over the years, but none seems to have endured and there is no clear 'standard field guide'. This seems odd for a group that is the basis of one of the country's most popular hobbies. The only guide on my shelves is Wheeler's 1978 Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe. This is an extremely well-researched and comprehensive guide, but I suspect that the lack of colour illustrations prevented it becoming very popular. It is probably a reflection on the lack of better guides in the intervening 35 years that good copies of the dependable Wheeler typically fetch £100 or more!

Everard's new guide covers the UK's freshwater fish: all 41 of our native species, plus 13 exotics (including anglers' favourites Common Carp and Rainbow Trout). It follows the established WILDGuides format, combining high-quality photographs and informative figures with a concise, authoritative text that focusses on field identification - all arranged across one or two pages to obviate the need for page-flipping. The text includes quite a lot of ecological information, which is of interest in itself, as well as supporting identification. Where appropriate, a box summarises the diagnostic features which can be relied upon to clinch separation from similar species. The author's approach is largely non-technical, relying on what birders call 'jizz' rather than detailed taxonomic detail (although, for example, the comparative table of cyprinid identification features on pp. 52-53 provides handy comparison). Maps would have been useful and I wonder why they are not provided: surely there is ample distributional data?

As with other WILDGuides, conservation is a major theme running throughout the book. Within the species accounts, a table indicates conservation status: IUCN Red List status, UK Biodiversity Action Plan listing and whether the species is subject to key European and UK environmental legislation. Our most threatened native species are European Whitefish, Common Sturgeon and European Eel, all of which are Critically Endangered.

I found particularly interesting the comparative photographs of Rudd and Roach (p. 56), the page suggesting sites for watching salmon migration (p. 50) and the map of species richness of European fish (p. 12 - although it is puzzling to see North Wales shown with >55 species).

Is this the fish book to buy? Definitely! Ideal for the pocket, glove-compartment or tackle-box, this guide will give naturalists a much better chance of identifying the fish they see. I presume that all but novice anglers can identify their catch, but they should welcome the comprehensive national coverage, and detailed information on ecology and conservation.

This handy guide is a very welcome addition to the literature, especially since few of the dozen or so previously published fish guides are still in print.

Chris Sharpe, 4 October 2013. ISBN-13: 978-0-691-15678-1
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good guide to the UK freshwater fishes, 9 Dec 2013
By 
John W. Martin (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Britain's Wildlife) (Paperback)
I ordered this after reading a review in British Wildlife. Good up to date ID guides are few and far between and this is one of them. Some useful info on conservation status and legislation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect field guide, 9 Oct 2013
This review is from: Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Britain's Wildlife) (Paperback)
Covering all British Freshwater fish species in detail the book captivates by its outstanding content, layout and presentation as well as excellent pictures. Why "only" 4 stars? Well for a field guide which clearly has academic standards a bit more research on the sizes of the freshwater fish would have served the purpose. There are no and never have been any wels (catfish) reaching 5 meters in length. It is simply absurd. The maximum size for trout is given for continental waters and still haven't been reached in the last 50 years, whereas the maximum size given for pike is based on British waters (whereas the fish grows larger on the continent). Aside of those little flaws I deeply recommend this book to anybody interested in the subject
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 5 Oct 2013
This review is from: Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Britain's Wildlife) (Paperback)
Another great book from Dr Everard. Ideal for students, professionals and anglers. Extremely informative on all UK species currently swimming around in our waters. Even explains about ILFA licences etc Fishing clubs should have one in their library!
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Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Britain's Wildlife)
Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Britain's Wildlife) by Mark Everard (Paperback - 28 July 2013)
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