Suburban Hunter-Gatherer

Where I live right now, while I’m not in the woods, is a paved place in general. There’s a lot of asphalt. McKnight road, one of the major high-speed and high noise conduits of Pittsburgh’s North Hills passes within sight, it’s roar permeating all till long after dark. Businesses have proliferated here and I can […]

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Quiet Little Places

The chipmunks that live down the hill count on me to launch peanuts daily from the back porch. A bit further out I can see parking lots, a highway and a shopping center but there’s a strip of woods here and it’s home for an assortment of animals, great and small. Even my porch hosts […]

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Make the Best of it.

In my book, The Dying Fish, I wandered through pristine and nearly pristine habitat about as far as you can get from roads and homes in the east, generally well off the beaten track. It was where I needed to go to discuss what was best for brook trout but few of us get to […]

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Pennsylvania As Brook Trout Park

Pennsylvania is full of wild brook trout and it’s getting better all the time. Pennsylvania became one of the most unexpectedly pleasant states to wander through during my long hikes, as recounted in The Dying Fish. Originally, the tall virgin forests of the mid-Atlantic favored brook trout. They provided ample shade almost everywhere, keeping the […]

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A Free and Wild Place

Anyone who reads “The Dying Fish” blog probably realizes that I value free and wild places. And I spent time in one just yesterday, a tract of state forest that few people know about situated on the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border. And, by the way, anyone new to my blog may wonder why it’s called “The […]

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About Exotics

One of the first things you’d learn about, if you ever yearned to become a fish ecologist, is the danger posed by non-native species. And the most simple formulation of the prevailing theory on this runs something like this: Don’t introduce a new fish (we’ll stick with fish here for simplicity) to an ecosystem in […]

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The Breadth of the Wild Woods

In 2009, I hiked across Pennsylvania as a part of the Eastern Brook Trout Solo Adventure, a tale that became “The Dying Fish,” my book on the resurgent eastern forest and all the fish who swim there. My findings in Pennsylvania, as with almost everywhere else, were findings of organic renewal on a grand scale; […]

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