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Praise for Rowing to Baikal:


"There are few more beautiful places on earth than Lake Baikal and its vast surroundings; this account of a noble adventure will leave you with deep impressions of the place and its people, its past and its possible futures. Surely a fifth of the earth's fresh water deserves your attention!"

     —Bill McKibben, NY Times bestselling author of Eaarth and The End of Nature

"Rowing to Baikal is an engrossing tale told by the intrepid Peter Fong, whose vivid prose carries readers to the farthest ends of the earth, and expands our sense of discovery, responsibility, and interconnectedness—our ken, as it were—as all good stories should." 

     —Chris Dombrowski, author of The River You Touch

“In Rowing to Baikal, Peter Fong has written a graceful and illuminating account of the Baikal Headwaters Expedition. Fong leads a captivating cast of characters in a search for solutions to the entangled dilemmas of river conservation and energy independence for Mongolia, weaving together ecological observations and a passionate voice for the river’s future.”

     —Nancy Langston, author of Climate Ghosts and Sustaining Lake Superior


Book Description:


After plans were announced for multiple dams in Mongolia’s Selenge River watershed, award-winning author and veteran flyfishing guide Peter W. Fong was spurred to learn more about this remarkable ecosystem. On a first-ever scientific expedition from the headwaters of the Selenge to Russia’s Lake Baikal, he and an international team traveled more than 1,500 kilometers by horse, camel, kayak, and rowboat through one of the world’s most rugged regions and a last, best stronghold for the planet’s largest salmonid: the taimen. 


Fong’s account of this dramatic journey tells a passionate yet nuanced story of the Selenge River and its tributaries. About the fish and wildlife that call the river home. About the human history of the region, from the Bronze Age to the fall of the Soviet Union. About the people who live in the basin now—from nomadic herders to construction engineers—and their attitudes toward development and conservation. About the old gods and legends that haunt the mountains. And about the disparate possible futures for one of the most starkly beautiful places on earth.


Author Bio:


Conservationist and adventurer Peter W. Fong has a hard time keeping still. He's worked as an artist-in-the-schools in Montana, a travel guidebook writer in China, and a flyfishing guide in Mongolia. In 2018, he led an international team of scientists on a thousand-mile expedition from the headwaters of Mongolia’s Selenge River to Russia's Lake Baikal.

His stories and photographs have appeared in The FlyFish JournalHigh Country NewsThe New York Times, and many other publications. His first novel, Principles of Navigation, won the inaugural New Rivers Press Electronic Book Competition. A chapter book for children and adults, The Coconut Crab, was released in 2022 by Green Writers Press.


Peter is the recipient of an individual artist's fellowship from the Montana Arts Council and a former Moran artist-in-residence at Yellowstone National Park. For more information about the 2018 Baikal Headwaters Expedition, visit 

Rowing to Baikal

SKU: 978-1-957607-22-1
  • Rowing to Baikal will be published on December 5th, 2023. Pre-ordered books will be shipped no later than the publication date.

    Thank you and enjoy!

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