Skip to product information
1 of 1

Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface

Regular price $ 32.95

Get 10% off with a membership

Regular price $ 27.95 Sale price $ 32.95

Get an additional 10% off with a membership

Sale Sold out
Product Format

A Natural History of a Fisherman's Lake

Author Bruce M. Carlson, Illustrations by Bruce Granquist

Minnesota Historical Society Press (May 1, 2007)


A wonderfully readable mix of natural history, biology, lake dynamics, and fishing tips, this beautiful illustrated volume reveals the fascinating underwater world of a north country lake.


Each summer millions experience the beauty of America’s lakes—the whirl of sights and sounds as boats cut through the water and birds call to each other from surrounding trees. Now biologist and ichthyologist Bruce M. Carlson takes nature lovers to the side of the lake that few will experience firsthand—a dynamic world where fish feed and spawn, loons dive deep to snap up perch, and light disappears one wavelength at a time before reaching the ink-blue bottom.

With clear-eyed and engaging prose, Beneath the Surface explores the inner workings of Ten Mile Lake in Cass County, Minnesota. And from this intimate study, complemented by elegantly detailed illustrations in pencil, ink, and watercolor, we learn how the physical characteristics of a lake affect the plants and animals within it and how the various forms of life inhabiting a lake interact.

Carlson explores how the dynamics of a lake shift from day to night and from season to season. He outlines the effects of a storm on the wildlife below and reveals what the loon’s four main types of calls communicate. He explains the impressive intricacies of a beaver’s lodge design. And through special chapters that reveal the rhythms and constraints of various species of fish, Carlson shows anglers how to hone techniques to heighten fishing success.

Advance Praise

"A holistic picture of life within a lake that's as scientifically thorough as it is enjoyable to read."
MplsStPaul Magazine

“If you’ve ever paused on a boat dock and peered longingly into the water, surely you’ve wondered, as I have, about the many mysteries in the watery world below. After a lifetime of angling, most of my questions have seemed eternal. But my luck has changed. After reading Beneath the Surface, I now have answers.”
Ron Schara and Raven, Minnesota Bound

“A masterpiece of clarity and completeness, Beneath the Surface is about satisfying scientific curiosity and is a testament of love and concern for a place Bruce Carlson knows exceedingly well. Every lakeshore resident should read it.”
Greg Breining, author of Fishing Minnesota

“Easy to read and scientifically accurate, Carlson’s book offers wonderful details about the life histories of important species, such as mayflies, beavers, ciscoes, and walleyes. He explains why walleyes see so well at night, how fish detect sounds and vibrations, and how understanding all of this can improve angling. Fishing tips abound. And the illustrations by Bruce Granquist are superb.”
John Tester, author of Minnesota’s Natural Heritage

Author information

Bruce M. Carlson regularly contributes articles to In-Fisherman magazine that integrate scientific principles with fishing techniques. He has been fishing and studying Ten Mile Lake since 1955. Bruce Granquist specializes in ecological illustrations and cartography.

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 256 pages
  • 80 b&w and 4 page color insert
  • 7 x 10 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873515788

Want to get updates about MNHS Press books, news, and events?
View full details