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“Fish on Fridays” Programs Illuminate Fishing as Tourism Lure, Environmental Caution & Recreational Opportunity

Some Things Fishy in Rare Books: Izaak Walton’s Compleat Angler and Other Fish Tales

 First editions of books about on fish, ichthyological illustrations spanning multiple decades, early fishing guides, and multiple editions of the penultimate book on fishing, The Compleat Angler; or, the Contemplative Man’s Recreation by Izaac Walton (1593-1683) are the basis for the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s current exhibit at the Central Library in downtown Buffalo.

Some Things Fishy in Rare Books: Izaac Walton’s Compleat Angler and Other Fish Tales” is on display now through Saturday, June 16 at the downtown Library’s Rare Book Room on the main floor, 1 Lafayette Square. It is free during all Library open hours.


Walton’s The Compleat Angler, first published in 1653, has been reprinted numerous times, remaining the favorite fishing book of many to this day. According to multiple sources, it was the third most printed book after the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. Along with many early and fine editions of Walton’s Compleat Angler, the exhibit showcases fish illustrations from Conrad Gesner’s 16th century Historia Animalium to Mark Catesby’s 1750 Piscium Serpentum and, more recently, Zane Grey’s photo illustration in Tales of Fresh-Water Fishing from 1928. Numerous books on fishing, fish from around the world and fishing guides from the Library’s collection are displayed, including a book shaped like a fish and Fishing and Shooting Sketches (1906) written by U.S. President Grover Cleveland.


Buffalo’s fortunate geo-graphic position on the Niagara River and between two Great Lakes means plentiful opportunities to enjoy our waterways in many ways including fishing. Protecting WNY’s water environment; taking advantage of fishing as sport, recreation and economic generator; and fishing for subsistence will be discussed in four free lunchtime programs supporting the themes presented in “Some Things Fishy in Rare Books”. Held 12 noon-1 p.m. at the downtown Library on selected Fridays in April and May, the Fish on Fridays Series will include:

Friday, April 20  Tifft Nature Preserve: From Cattail Marsh to Nature Preserve
Meghan Dye, Facilitator of Learning, Tifft Nature Preserve

Tifft has an important history connected to the Great Lakes and WNY’s waterways, a great example of how land damaged by industry can successfully be reclaimed. Nature programs, recreational uses and fishing are now hallmarks of one of Buffalo’s greatest natural places.

Friday, April 27  Getting the Gold Out of Lake Erie
Thomas Marks, Director, Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and member, Erie County Fishing Advisory Committee

All about opportunities and strategies for success when fishing Lake Erie and, in particular, the quest for Perch and Walleye. More gold: capitalizing on the Lake as a tourism generator.

Friday, May 4  More Than a Fish Fry: Eating Fish from our Local Waterways
Katy Brown, Public Health & Environmental Justice Project Manager,
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

People across the region, including Buffalo’s growing immigrant communities, supplement their dinner tables out of necessity with locally caught fish. But contaminants in the water have been linked to major health problems. Riverkeeper has been focusing on a host of complex related issues including poverty, immigration, cultural food practices, language, and environmental justice.

Friday, May 11  Fisheries Management and Fishing in Western New York
Mike Todd, Fisheries Biologist/Fishing Promotion, NYS Dept. of
Environmental Conservation-Region 9

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation plays an important role in the management and conservation of New York State’s fishing habitats, and in educating the public about them. And what are the best opportunities locally for fishing? Come find out.


For more information on these and other Library activities, please visit: www.BuffaloLib.org.