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The Discovery recently installed a new exhibit entitled Underwater Nevada: Connecting Fish, Water, and People in our Nevada Stories gallery. The exhibit was developed in partnership with Dr. Zeb Hogan and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Science, Jeremy Monroe of Freshwaters Illustrated, and several other partners.
Underwater Nevada is designed to introduce The Discovery’s visitors to the freshwater fish, and accompanying aquatic habitats, of arid Nevada. The Snake River, Great Basin and Colorado River are the three geographic areas of focus for Underwater Nevada. The exhibit displays high-resolution, underwater images and artistic renderings of fish species from around Nevada, as well as content about the species featured – all on a giant, curved wall.
The fish species highlighted in Underwater Nevada include the Chinook salmon, White River springfish, Devils Hole pupfish, and the Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, and humpback chub—three of Nevada’s most endangered species. Topics addressed within Underwater Nevada include fish ecology and conservation, the challenges of water quality and quantity in a high desert landscape; how humans, plants and animals co-exist in these environments; and what is being done to restore and recover these freshwater landscapes. Additional content development is focused on “Water in the West,” with highlights on Nevada’s heritage tied to conservation efforts in the state.
In the first four weeks after opening Underwater Nevada, more than 15,000 visitors – including 3,000 Pre-K through 7th grade students on field trips – have been exposed to the exhibit. By providing young people with approachable fish-related educational content, Underwater Nevada will help generate excitement around fisheries science and promote the development of fisheries professionals.
The Discovery, Dr. Zeb Hogan, and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Science continue to work together to promote science-based management, conservation and understanding of fisheries resources by focusing on northern Nevada’s freshwater fish, watershed health, water quality, and regional conservation issues within Underwater Nevada. One way we have carried this goal forward is by obtaining permission to host live hybrid Devils Hole pupfish in a tank at The Discovery tied to the learning objectives of Underwater Nevada, in addition to hosting three other live, global freshwater fish species tied to the Monster Fish exhibition: alligator gar, a red tail catfish, and white sturgeon.
We encourage you to check out Underwater Nevada soon – and even meet Dr. Zeb Hogan in person! The Discovery has four “Episodes with Zeb” Monster Fish television show screenings scheduled throughout the summer, and Dr. Hogan will be there to take your questions and sign autographs.
Underwater Nevada was funded, in part, by the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society (WDAFS) and Trout Unlimited – Sagebrush Chapter.