Ahead of the much-awaited Sept. 21 reopening, Wonders of Wildlife officials have agreed to house the permanent exhibits of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
Currently located in Birmingham, Alabama, the hall of fame will move within two months to the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium on its last phases of redevelopment at 500 W. Sunshine St.
“There is no better location to honor the individuals that have played a crucial role in bass fishing,” said Donald Howell, president of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame board of directors, in a news release.
The museum on Bass Pro Shops’s Outdoor World campus has been closed for nearly 10 years for multimillion-dollar renovations and gallery additions, including the National Rifle Association’s Sporting Arms Museum, the Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns and the National Archery Hall of Fame. Internal projects led by Bass Pro founder and owner Johnny Morris include a two-story saltwater tank with a model sunken ship, dioramas of Arctic polar bears and mountain sheep, and a circular stingray touch tank.
“Our mission is to establish a world-class destination that celebrates people who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water,” Morris said in the release. “There are so many notable hunters and anglers that have played an important role in the conservation of our precious natural resources and habitats. We are honored to welcome the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame to help further enrich that story for our visitors.”
At 320,000 square feet, Wonders of Wildlife is designed with 1.5 million gallons of aquariums, 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds, 70,000 square feet of immersive wildlife galleries and a mile of walking trails and exhibits.
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