An Atlas of Illinois Fishes

150 Years of Change
Author: Brian A. Metzke, Brooks M. Burr, Leon C. Hinz Jr., Lawrence M. Page, and Christopher A. Taylor
A scientific and visually spectacular guide to every fish species in Illinois
Cloth – $50
eBook – $24.95
Publication Date
Cloth: 06/07/2022
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About the Book

Lake Michigan, winding creeks, sprawling swamps, and one of the world’s great rivers--Illinois’s variety of aquatic habitats makes the Prairie State home to a diverse array of fishes. The first book of its kind in over forty years, An Atlas of Illinois Fishes is a combination of nature guide and natural history. It provides readers with an authoritative resource based on the extensive biological data collected by scientists since the mid-1850s. Each of the entries on Illinois’s 217 current and extirpated fish species offers one or more color photographs; maps depicting distributions at three time periods; descriptions of identifying features; notes on habitat preference; and comments on distribution. In addition, the authors provide a pictorial key for identifying Illinois fishes.

Scientifically up-to-date and illustrated with over 240 color photos, An Atlas of Illinois Fishes is a benchmark in the study of Illinois’s ever-changing fish communities and the habitats that support them.

About the Author

Brian A. Metzke is State Aquatic Ecologist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Brooks M. Burr is an emeritus professor of zoology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a coeditor of Freshwater Fishes of North America. Leon C. Hinz Jr. is the Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Lawrence M. Page is Curator of Fishes at the Florida Museum of Natural History. He is coauthor of Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico. Christopher A. Taylor is an aquatic biologist and Curator of Fishes and Crustaceans with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


"'An Atlas of Illinois Fishes' joins the pantheon on the shelf left of my desk, within easy reach. " --Dale Bowman, Chicago Sun-Times

"If you are an amateur naturalist, An Atlas of Illinois Fishes: 150 Years of Change will be a welcome addition to your home library. If you are a professional biologist, the book will be a welcome addition to your office bookshelf.And, that’s just what the authors had in mind when they decided to write the book. It’s the first definitive book written on Illinois fish in 40 years." --Les Winkeler, Southern Illinoisan

"There are identification keys, photos, range maps, conservation information and more. This one fills a welcome need in my fish reference library. Any fish nerd would enjoy it." --Nature


"The authors have done an excellent job in tracking down a tremendous amount of great information, both published and unpublished, about fish distribution in Illinois, and the thoroughness of their analyses and the detail they provide are impressive."--John Lyons, Curator of Fishes, University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum

"What a monumental endeavor--to capture all that has changed in Illinois fish diversity and distribution in recent times. The result is a reference that will be enjoyed by scientist and naturalist alike."--Brant Fisher, Indiana Department of Natural Resources