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A Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes : North America (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – September, 1983
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I love to dive and snorkel and think I own a dozen fish books for Baja. Out of the bunch, my four favorites are (they all have different strengths and weaknesses):
Reef Fish Identification: Baja to Panama -- If I had to pick just one, this would be it. It's really designed for identification and some of the others are better to learn about the fish once you've identified it. Tons of color photos.
Sea of Cortez Marine Animals: A Guide to the Common Fishes and Invertebrates Baja California to Panama -- A good compromise between identification and learning about the fish. Covers most of the common fish, but not as many as the above. Uses color photos.
Reef Fishes of the Sea of Cortez: The Rocky-Shore Fishes of the Gulf of -- Best book to learn about the fish, but not as strong on ID. Covers a lot of fish. Some color photos, other B&W photos, many drawings.
Fishes of the Pacific Coast: Alaska to Peru, Including the Gulf of California and the Galapagos Islands -- Pocket-sized book, color drawings, short info on each fish. Best book for edibility information.
There is a lack of pictures and no reference to edibiity. Names in Spanish are missing.
Fishes of the Pacific Coast is much better.
Another completely amazing but unknown fish family listed are the Poachers. These fish are difficult to describe, but have a few traits of an alligator, to put it simply.
There are dozens more stunning species to be found here, but you will have to read it to find the most mysterious and exhilarating ones. Also, this ocean field guide uses the best identification tool, drawings. Whether for the interested fish worshipper, or the expert marine biologist, this book will please all fascinated by the ocean.