Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

Why The Compleat Wetlander?

The title of this blog, The Compleat Wetlander, was inspired by a much older work: The Compleat Angler written and published by Sir Izaac Walton in 1653.  It is the most reprinted book in the English language after the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress.  The author, Sir Izaak Walton, was born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth of England and the book was written during a 10-year period of forced retirement when Sir Izaak fled to the English countryside with other Royalists during the reign of Oliver Cromwell.

Why has this book endured for over 350 years and almost 500 hundred editions.

First it has a killer title.  People have purchased the book to learn how to improve their angling skills.  However, anyone reading the book specifically to learn to fish will be sadly disappointed by instructions on how to weave a leader out of mare’s tale.  Further, anyone who actually follows Sir Isaac’s sage advice may occasionally find themselves in danger of running afoul of local fishing regulations.

The real reason for the book’s enduring popularity (as Howell Raines explains in his introduction to the 2004 Modern Library Books paperback edition) is that it is a book on ‘how to be.’  Perambulating along the streams and rivers of a pastoral countryside, Sir Izaak teaches us how to dream and that is why generations have learned to love it.

So what has this got to do with wetlands?

Well nothing really except—

It is a killer title.

And if a poetic discourse on the gentle art of fishing can teach us how to dream, then perhaps a modern blog on wetlands might challenge us to think.

To order The Compleat Angler, click here.
To download a free copy, go to:

The Compleat Wetlander is the official blog of the Association of State Wetland Managers, Inc. Comments are welcome as well as ideas for new topics for discussion about wetland science, management and policy issues.

The Association of State Wetland Managers is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1983 to promote and enhance protection and management of wetland resources, to promote application of sound science to wetland management efforts and to provide training and education for our members and the public.


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