Partnerships Renovate Museum Fish Display
BY STEVEN GAMBICKI, ALPENA FWCO
improvements she would like to see. Credit: USFWS
Besser Museum, located in Alpena Michigan, has a large display of fish mounts for public viewing; however the current display is lacking life history and other information about the fish species present. Christine Witulski, the Executive and Education Director at the Besser Museum reached out to the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) for assistance. Steven Gambicki, a fish biologist at the Alpena FWCO, agreed to assist the museum with reorganizing and improving the display.
The current display is lacking information about the commercial fishery, sport fishery, and the impacts introduced and invasive species have had on the Great Lakes fishery. Steven Gambicki connected with Biology professor Brenda Kelley at Alpena Community College. She has agreed to enlist the help of her field biology class to research the fish species that are present. “The students are excited about the project and have some good ideas about the display” said Kelley. The information the students provide will be incorporated into new exhibit labels.
The new display will include information about invasive species and the impact they have had on native species and the commercial fishery. It will also highlight species that are threatening to invade the Great Lakes.
Reorganization of the Besser Museum fish display is a collaborative effort between the museum, Alpena Community College and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Witulski hopes the improved fish display will “… educate the public, and bring an awareness that will deepen their appreciation of the Great Lakes.” “It is a joy to have the opportunity to work with members of the local community,” said Gambicki, “we all have a common goal to help educate, and improve the community around us.”