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Mississippi has a diverse and fascinating inland fish fauna, yet no single, current reference provides information on identification, fishery importance, biology, and conservation status of the fishes. The pioneering book, Freshwater Fishes in Mississippi, by Fannye Cook (1959) has become outdated as much new information has accrued on the occurrence, systematics, distribution, life history, and ecology of the species. For instance, the known species diversity of native freshwater or diadromous fishes in Mississippi has increased by 41%, from 145 to 204.

My objectives in writing this book were to provide a comprehensive reference for the identification of fishes found in the inland waters of the state and to provide a synopsis of biological information on each species. To increase the utility of the book in the identification of species, I have provided color photographs of freshly collected fishes taken from Mississippi waters.

The goal has been to make this book useful to professional ichthyologists and fisheries biologists, as well as to students, anglers, and amateur naturalists. In doing so, there is necessary information included for the specialists that may be of little interest to others, and perhaps biological information that, though common knowledge to specialists, is necessary to include for those less familiar with fishes. It is my ultimate hope that this book will stimulate interest in the fascinating and diverse native inland fish fauna of Mississippi. Should this book lead to greater awareness and concern for the long-term welfare of our inland waterways and their biota, then the return for the time spent in the preparation is more than sufficient.

I have tried to reduce the use of technical terms, although some are unavoidable, especially those concerning fish morphology. Therefore, specialized terms have been compiled in a glossary at the end of the book.



Publication Date



University Press of Mississippi


Jackson, MS


fish, Mississippi, streams, rivers, inland, species


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Inland Fishes of Mississippi