Bass Pro sneak peek entertaining, but lacking

Wes Hamilton, Photographer

When we were invited to a sneak peek tour of Bass Pro Shops’ wildlife museum and aquarium, we didn’t know what to expect.

But when SBJ reporter Zach Smith and I arrived the afternoon of March 18, it was quickly clear that nothing resembling a tour would be taking place. Bass Pro media representatives were welcoming, but left us confined to a small portion of the newly branded America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium known as the Shipwreck Gallery.

We spent two hours in the prepared area awaiting the press conference that held announcements regarding further plans for the museum. We had plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with undersea creatures.

Here’s what my camera saw.


The rust-colored ductwork was functioning HVAC. The ornamentation of algae and moss added to the shipwreck feeling.


The trough area on the right is one day meant to be a shark and manta ray touch tank.

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The ceiling is painted to represent the surface of the ocean viewed from deep below. There are hundreds of modeled fish designed to be swimming in schools.

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It may not look like it, but most of the tank ornamentation was manufactured. The fish interacted with it all the same, as if it were real.


This under-construction area of the museum was one of the most exciting parts to see. It looked like there was a lot of work left to be done.

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The mass of this 86,000-gallon tank cannot be conveyed in a photo. The same goes for this prawn-like creature; the size doesn’t come across.

The aquarium was entertaining, but left me impatient to see the completed museum. Hopefully, future events will be more thorough. I’m still looking for a grand tour.


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