Author traces catfish industry from fingerling era

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 May 2006, at 1:00am

ALABAMA - It's never too late for positive recognition and two Alabamians have a California native to thank for putting them into the spotlight. Check Stephens and Richard True were pioneers in America's commercial catfish industry, but few outside Alabama's Black Belt were aware of that fact until Karni Perez began writing about them. The result is "Fishing For Gold: The Story of Alabama's Catfish Industry." It may not be a political thriller or sexy potboiler, but it is an important look at how two men helped to create a billion-dollar industry in one of the country's poorest regions. Published by the University of Alabama Press, the book is a fascinating read, especially when Perez digs deep into the origins of an industry started by two men more familiar with cattle and trees than fish. Until Stephens and True came along, folks who lived in rural areas had caught their fill of catfish from creeks and rivers. Raising them in ponds was an alien concept. Source: Montgomery Advertiser