Freshwater Fish of the Northeast

Matt Patterson

Most anglers are well aware of the popular game fish that inhabit the Northeast, including the largemouth bass, the rainbow trout, and the yellow perch. But the region’s inland waters boast a much broader array of fish than first meets the eye (or hook). The father-and-son team of David and Matt Patterson has pursued both game fish and bait fish in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. In Freshwater Fish of the Northeast, they describe more than sixty different species, from the well-known to the obscure, including the redfin pickerel, the blueback trout, and the slimy sculpin. This colorful and helpful guide includes detailed information on habits, habitats, history, and more. To best capture the look and appeal of these fish in their native waters, most of the images are based on the authors’ own live catches. The pencil-and-acrylic illustrations render each species in lifelike detail, with close attention given to unique physical characteristics. Both art book and guidebook, this volume will stir some fond memories of fish caught—and a few of those that got away.

This new edition features an introduction by Matt Patterson, whose career as a wildlife illustrator has flourished since the book was first published in 2010. Other updates include a practical flexicover cover, French flaps, and a foreword by naturalist and writer Sy Montgomery.

Cover Image of Freshwater Fish of the Northeast
Paper: $29.95
ISBN-13: 9781684582167
Pages: 144 | Size: 10 in. x 7 in.
Date Published: April 19, 2024

The illustrations are absolutely splendid: accurately rendered and artistically striking.

National Outdoor Book Awards


  • What a job Matt Patterson did with the
    illustrations. He knows his fish and he knows
    his art. The illustrations are absolutely splendid:
    accurately rendered and artistically striking.
    Moreover, the book’s designer created a
    handsome blend of art and text, and in places,
    even creates the appearance of fish migrating
    through the book. If you’re a serious fisher in the
    Northeast, or if serious anglers come to visit, this
    is a book you’ll want lying on the coffee table.

    National Outdoor Book Awards
  • Father and son fishing buddies David A. Patterson, a retired high school biology teacher in Billerica, and Matt, a professional illustrator, have produced Freshwater Fish of the Northeast, a guidebook to more than 60 species. Matt based most of his illustrations on photographs taken of live catches he or his father made before they set the fish free.

    Boston Globe
  • Freshwater Fish of the Northeast (University Press of New England, 2010) by retired biology teacher David Patterson gives a glimpse of what lives under paddle. Part field guide, part coffee-table treasure — with pencil-and-acrylic illustrations by David's son, Matt Patterson — this hardcover is stocked with the habits and habitats of more than 60 species found in New England and New York, plus fishing pointers.

    Adirondack Life
  • Combining their shared love of fishing with Dave’s biology background and Matt’s art skills, the result is the lavishly illustrated Freshwater Fish of the Northeast.

    The Lowell Sun and Sentinel & Enterprise
  • The most delectable catch is Freshwater Fish of the Northeast by David and Matt Patterson. This father-son team from Massachusetts has packed about 50 years worth of combined angling experience inside a 130-page wrapper. The result is so lovely to look at and informative to read that it deserves a less prosaic title that the one it has... The Pattersons don’t just love the challenge of catching (and usually releasing) fish; they seem in awe of the sheer aesthetic beauty of each and every species.

    The Sunday Republican (Waterbury)

About the Author

David A. Patterson taught high school biology for thirty-four years in Billerica, Massachusetts.

Matt Patterson is a professional illustrator who trained at the Art Institute of Boston. He illustrated The Snake and the Salamander by Alvin R. Breisch; and The Book of Turtles and Of Time and Turtles, both by Sy Montgomery.


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