Montana State University

Author of "Entirely Synthetic Fish" to speak Feb. 7 in Bozeman

January 31, 2011 -- MSU News Service

"An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World" won the 2010 National Outdoor Book Award. Its author, Anders Halverson, will speak Feb. 7 in Bozeman.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - The award-winning author of "An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World" will sign books and give a free public lecture on Monday, Feb. 7, in Bozeman.

Anders Halverson, research associate at the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, will sign his book at 4 p.m. at the Country Bookshelf at 28 W. Main St. His lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies.

Halverson's book was published March 2 by Yale University Press and has since won the National Outdoor Book Award. It was featured in Outside Magazine's end-of-the year issue.

The book chronicles the discovery of rainbow trout, their introduction across the nation and around the world, and the reasons they are still the most commonly stocked fish in the United States. Rainbow trout has been introduced into every state in the United States, every province in Canada and every continent except Antarctica.

Halverson's book describes risk-taking explorers who, while seeking salmon, found a beautiful and energetic fish and built the first rainbow trout hatchery in remote Indian country. Wealthy industrialists had private Long Island clubs that boasted the most abundant rainbow trout catches in the world. Fisheries managers were determined to satisfy insatiable anglers, endless political demands, and biologists who advocate for native fish.

Halverson said rainbow trout are sometimes vilified for their devastating effects on native populations and sometimes glorified as the preeminent sport fish. Either way, they are the repository of more than a century of America's often contradictory philosophies about the natural world.

Halverson received his doctoral degree in ecology and conservation biology from Yale University. During graduate school, he observed that the debate over environmental issues is frequently framed in terms of science and law, but the real source of the conflict often resides in hidden cultural and historical values. In 2005, Halverson received a grant from the National Science Foundation to examine freshwater fisheries management from that perspective. The result was his new book.

Halverson's lecture is sponsored by MSU's Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies; the Jim Belsey Lecture in Coldwater Fisheries, and the MSU Fish and Wildlife Program.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or