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Welcome to the Fish Division!

Mission and Purpose

big darby creek at confluence

It is the mission of the Museum of Zoology Fish Division to build a strong representative collection of North American freshwater fishes with secondary strengths in Mexico and Central America. To build a strong collection from lakes, rivers, and streams of Ohio with the best documentation available; this includes a repository for all the states' rare, threatened and endangered voucher specimens. To maintain an ongoing relationship with the state of Ohio agencies involved in fish research. These include Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Surface Waters.

About the Fish Collection

The collections of Dr. Albert Tuttle, OSU's first zoologist, were the beginning of the OSUM Fish Division circa 1874. Officially recognized in 1895, the fish collections grew and moved successively from the attic of the Botany and Zoology Building, OSU's Biological Station at Cedar Point, Ohio State Historical Society, Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, the basement of Sullivant Hall, to the current location at 1315 Kinnear Road in the Museum of Biological Diversity. The fish collections are primarily used as a resource for systematics research and publication, laboratory teaching at the university level and for public education. In addition, they are also used as a basis for comparative studies, geographic range information, ecological assessments and environmental impact statements. Voucher specimens are deposited with the collection by a number of researchers and agencies to anchor reports and publications.

The collection of fishes consists of the following components:

fuert village stizostedion

The collection is currently catalogued on computer, so all specimen catalog numbers and their collection records are entered using an NSF supported program customized for The Ohio State University Collection. Total number of lots cataloged on computer stands at more than 115,000 which represents approximately 1.5 million specimens.