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Gilmour, David.

Toronto, N.C. Press. 1987. 170pp. paper. ISBN 0-920053-57-2 (cloth) $24.95. 0-920053-99-8 (paper) $12.95. CIP

Grades 8 and up
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

When the Ontario ministry of natural resources (MNR) hired David Gilmour, author-playwright, to write a book on fisheries management they were taking a big risk; Mr. Gilmour was a novice when it came to fishing in the great outdoors. As Gilmour puts it: "In those first few months I felt like a Martian who had crash-landed in New York, only to be asked to run for Mayor. . . . What's a watershed? I asked one astonished interviewee, who. I'm told, telephoned his superior the moment I was out the door. This is a joke right? We didn't really hire this guy to write a book about us, did we?'"

Over a period of eighteen months Mr. Gilmour interviewed MNR personnel wherever he found them. Some were in ice huts; some, in streams; some, on poaching patrols; and some were at work in the laboratories. In all, Gilmour learned about such topics as "Exotic Species, "Commercial Fishing in Ontario," "Fishing Assessment Units," "Stream Rehabilitation," "Stocking and Hatcheries, "Lake and Stream Surveys," "Enforcement," "Research," "Citizen Participation," and "Sport fishing." More importantly, he produced a book which is at once eminently readable and yet highly factual. The MNR gamble paid off.

While the book presents the MNR view on fisheries management, one would be hard pressed to describe it as biased. Reasonable and conservative would be more apt. Certainly, other texts contain more technical data, but this is a book for the layman-for the people "out there" written by "someone from 'out there' ".

Augmenting the lively text are numerous black-and-white photos of MNR activities. The table of contents provides relatively easy access to the information but because there is no index, you may have trouble locating specific data. All in all, this would be an excellent addition to any junior or senior high library. It should also find favour with conservationists, naturalists and those who fish.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks Sr. High, Summerside, P.E.I.
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