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PEOPLE OF THE STURGEON: WISCONSIN'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH AN ANCIENT FISH
Author: Kathleen Schmitt Kline, Ron Bruch, Fred Binkowski, with photographs by Bob Rashid
Publisher: UNIVERSITY CHICAGO PRESS, Aug 2009
From some of the earliest inhabitants of Wisconsin to the spearers who flock to the annual sturgeon spearing season, people have always been drawn to this ancient fish. While overfishing, dams, & pollution nearly wiped out other sturgeon, Winnebago sturgeon have survived & flourished because of the dedicated efforts of many people. 215 Color & B&W photos, 2 maps; 8.5x10 inches, 320 pgs.
Lake sturgeon-ancient fish native to the Great Lakes region that can grow to be more than six feet long-have teetered on the brink of extinction since the late nineteenth century. But in Wisconsin, careful management for over 100 years has allowed one population to thrive. People of the Sturgeon is a history of the cultures surrounding lake sturgeon in Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago region, told by a fascinating collection of photos, artifacts, & a few good fish tales. From some of the earliest inhabitants of Wisconsin, the Menominee Indian Tribe, to the spearers who flock to frozen Lake Winnebago for the annual sturgeon spearing season, people have always been drawn to this ancient fish. While overfishing, dams, & pollution nearly wiped out other populations of lake sturgeon, Winnebago sturgeon have survived & flourished because of the dedicated efforts of state managers, university researchers, & a determined group of spearers known as Sturgeon for Tomorrow. This is the only population of sturgeon in the world to have been nearly extirpated, then resurrected through a community-wide effort of people who are now joined together as People of the Sturgeon.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Kathleen Schmitt Kline is a science writer at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, which supports research, education, & outreach dedicated to the stewardship & sustainable use of the nation's Great Lakes & ocean resources. She has a B.A. in biology & English from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, & an M.S. in life sciences communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ron Bruch is Natural Resources Region Team Supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, based in Oshkosh. He has been lead sturgeon biologist for the Winnebago system since 1990. In his efforts to establish scienfically-based sturgeon management policies with maximum public input, Bruch has worked with numerous local, state, tribal, federal, & international agencies & organizations. He has a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Fred Binkowski is a senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin Great Lakes WATER Institute & the aquaculture advisory services specialist with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. He has been raising & researching lake sturgeon since 1979. Binkowski's research has focused on early life stage development, nutrition, & behavior-he is one of the first scientists to monitor sturgeon movements using radio & sonic telemetry. He has an M.S. in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Bob Rashid (1949-2008) was a photographer/writer whose books include Wisconsin's Rustic Roads, Backroads of Wisconsin, & Gone Fishing. His first book, Wisconsin's Rustic Roads, inspired Wisconsin Public Television's documentary of the same title, & he worked as location photographer for three other television documentaries. An avid traveler, Rashid visited 19 countries & covered assignments in Europe, Asia & Central America. His work was published in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Travel/Holiday & Northwest Airlines World Traveler.