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Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries
Edited by Jerald S. Ault
Hardbound:   472 pages.
CRC Press   $119.95
ISBN  0-8493-2792-X

Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries by Jerald Ault Science meets the rest of us--might be an appropriate sub-title to this exceptional science text. Growing up with biology books, I wish I'd had a text that bridged the gap that too often exists between science and the community, or for that matter, between literature and the community, business and the community, any degreed study and the community.

Ault brings together the two perspectives admirably by compiling essays from the science community and from familiar sports authors and guides to help illuminate the mystery of the decline of the bonefish and tarpon fishery. Familiar fishing greats like Mark Sosin, Stuart Apt, Bob Stearns and Sandy Moret offer up their own chapters on the state of the bonefish and tarpon industry as seen from the fisher's perspective--that is, the rest of us who are either pondering taking up the sport or scratching their heads wondering where the fish are disappearing to. 

Keep in mind, though, this is first and foremost a research text with pages of graphs, charts, and language suited primarily for the fisheries student. This is not to say that the rest of us won't find it useful. Indeed, if you are a serious fisher of the salt, you'll want to pour over these pages. You may not end up with a revolutionary crab larval fly pattern, but you'll have a much better insight and appreciation of the lives of these fish--and that is sometimes much more important than the gear you bring to your next fishing adventure.

And maybe you'll learn a few things about how to release your fish. After reading this book, you'll think twice about stressing the fish by lifting it for a photo-op. Poor handling by well-thinking fishers is one cause of the degradation of these ancient fish.

Who should put this book on their shelves? The obvious first answer is the student of fisheries. We all know how important it is for them to be grounded in the community they serve by their research. If you're a serious flyfisher of the tarpon and bonefish salt, you'll also want this book. We need more books like this, books that illuminate the biology of the our sport. After all, when all is said and done and tied and cast and caught and released --biology is the most important thing.

--Toney J. Sisk


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