Paperback / softback
January 22, 2016
996 color illus.
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
1.4 Pounds (US)
1.4 Pounds (US)
$27.00 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes

From Alaska to California

From the Arctic waters of Alaska to the southern tip of California, this fully illustrated guide captures the stunning diversity of fishes along the western coastlines of the United States and Canada. The combined work of renowned marine science illustrator Val Kells and distinguished ichthyologists Luiz A. Rocha and Larry G. Allen, A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California is this region's most current and thorough fish identification guide.

Whether you are an angler, scuba diver, naturalist, student, or teacher, you will find every fish you're trying to identify, each shown in lifelike detail. The book's coverage extends from shallow, brackish waters to depths of about 200 meters.

Key features include
Over 950 illustrations of adults, juveniles, and color variants
Descriptions of 157 fish families and almost 700 species
Text presented adjacent to the illustrations
Concise details about the biology, range, and distribution of each species       

Poised to become your go-to reference, this guide will find a welcome spot on your boat, in your backpack, or on your bookshelf.

About the Authors

Val Kells is a widely recognized marine science illustrator. She is the coauthor and illustrator of A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Maine to Texas and the illustrator of Field Guide to Fishes of the Chesapeake Bay. She has illustrated numerous public aquarium exhibits. Luiz A. Rocha is an associate curator and the Follett Chair of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. He has authored or coauthored over seventy research papers and articles. Larry G. Allen is a professor and the chair of biology at California State University–Northridge and the president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. He is the coauthor of The Ecology of Marine Fishes: California and Adjacent Waters.


"A must have for those with an interest in the marine fishes of the West Coast."—Birdbooker Report

"This book will soon become your go-to identification guide, and is compact and durable enough with water resistant pages to throw in your dive bag, fishing tackle box, or field sampling gear. Together with Kells's previous book on fishes from Maine to Texas, you will be prepared to identify almost any coastal species you come across in the continental United States."—Copeia

"This new guide to Pacific coast fishes from Johns Hopkins University Press would be a great addition to any Oregon Master Naturalist's library."—Oregon Master Naturalist Program

"A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes by Kells, Rocha, and Allen is a wonderful field guide that would be a welcome addition to any dive bag or tackle box . . . I cannot recommend this book enough to anglers, divers, hobby naturalists, and students alike. It is a musthave for anyone who wants to quickly and accurately identify a Pacific Coast fish on the go."—Environmental Biology of Fishes

"No one creates as beautiful coloured illustrations of marine fishes . . . I recommend all libraries consider adding it to their collection."—Reference Reviews

"An up-to-date, well-organized, and beautifully illustrated compact field guide to fishes of the Pacific U.S. and Canada covering shallow (less than 200 m) coastal brackish and marine fishes. Organized by orders and families, it contains descriptions of features, habitats, biology, and wonderful, detailed color drawings of each species. This will become the new reference for the region."—Gregor Cailliet, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, coauthor of Fishes: A Field and Laboratory Manual on Their Structure, Identification, and Natural History

"Having fished the Pacific coast my entire life, I've never seen anything that even comes close to this incredible book. Clean, straightforward and easy to read. The consummate guide to our waters. The dead-nuts-on accurate and absolutely beautiful illustrations alone are worth the price of admission."—Michael Fowlkes, Executive Producer , Fox Sports / WFN Inside Sportfishing

"Val Kells is one of the most extraordinary fish illustrators I've ever seen. Her keen attention to detail and exquisite aesthetic sense are truly astounding. This outstanding guide to the fishes of the West Coast that she has assembled with Luiz Rocha and Larry Allen is the ultimate guide to the piscine wonders of the deep. It will be the standard for decades to come."—Ray Troll, Trollart

"Destined to become the classic guide to fishes of the Pacific coast for generations of fish aficionados."—Milton Love, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Fish geeks rejoice! Thanks to Val Kells' beautiful illustrations and unrelenting attention to detail, the West Coast SCUBA diving community has a terrific new book to use in their quest to identify those pesky mystery fish encountered on their dives. Sculpin 'a-fishy-onados' will be especially thrilled with the extensive list of species represented."—Janna Nichols, Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)

"With all the protected species, anglers need to make positive IDs of the fish they catch. This will be a great resource for West Coast anglers. Illustrations are very clear, and the script is concise but detailed. Every sport fishing and private boat should have a copy aboard."—Peter Gray, President of Let's Talk Hook-up

"Ed Ricketts would have been proud of the dedication that went into this field guide. Quality illustrations and easy-to-read text make this book a must-have for any fisherman, diver, or aquarist."—Randy Hamilton, Vice President of Husbandry, Monterey Bay Aquarium

"A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California is a most welcome addition to the books on fishes of the West Coast. Identifying features of nearly 700 species are primarily based on details of coloration, beautifully illustrated by Val Kells' vibrant color paintings that seem to jump off the page. This book and A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Maine to Texas, also illustrated by Kells, provide complete coverage of all shallow-water marine fishes from the continental United States. Professional ichthyologists and amateur fish enthusiasts alike will want to own copies of these beautifully illustrated guides to the country's marine fishes."—Phillip A. Hastings, Professor and Curator of Marine Vertebrates, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

"Val Kells, Luiz Rocha, and my good friend Larry Allen have demonstrated their passion for and knowledge of Pacific marine fishes in this book. A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California is the result of an outstanding collaboration that will prove to be an asset to anglers and marine biologists alike."—Bart Hall, Producer of Fred Hall Shows, Inc.

"Kells, Rocha, and Allen have put together a fantastic field guide illustrated with accurate detailed paintings as well as current and relevant information on features, habitat, and biology. This will be a great resource for fish biologists, fishers, and enthusiasts. Clearly, decades of experience and knowledge are wrapped up in this guide—can't wait to add it to my library."—Chris Lowe, Professor of Marine Biology, California State University, Long Beach

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9781421418322 : a-field-guide-to-coastal-fishes-kells-rocha-allen
Paperback / softback
376 Pages
$27.00 USD

Other Titles by Valerie A. Kells

Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Virginia

Paul E. Bugas, Jr., Corbin D. Hilling, Valerie A. Kells, Michael J. Pinder, Derek A. Wheaton, Donald J. Orth, illustrated by Valerie A. Kells, Joseph R. Tomelleri
Sep 2019 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$27.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$27.95 USD - Electronic book text

Tunas and Billfishes of the World

Bruce Collette and John Graves - illustrated by Val Kells
Aug 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback

Field Guide to Fishes of the Chesapeake Bay

Edward O. Murdy, John A. Musick, illustrated by Valerie A. Kells
Mar 2013 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$26.95 USD - Paperback / softback

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