About the Collection

The fish collection at the Bell Museum of Natural History dates to the 19th century and contains over 41,000 cataloged lots. Early collections focused on fishes of the upper Midwest, especially fishes of Minnesota. However, there are many older collections from outside the state. These include specimens from the Menage expedition to the Phillipines in the 1890s; fish from Hawaii collected in the early 1900s; and many other specimens from across the continental United States.

The fish collection also holds diverse holdings of marine fishes from the Pacific Northwest, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic coast. While most of the specimens are stored in alcohol there is: a large collection of pharyngeal teeth from cyprinids and catostomids; a sizable, uncataloged larval fish collection; and a growing collection of dry and stained-and-cleared skeletal material.

Tissue Collection 

Tissues of several species of Minnesota fishes are available for research purposes. Tissues are stored at -70°C or in 95% ethanol.

People collecting fish in river.Dr. Andrew Simons, Curator,
Visit Dr. Simons' faculty webpage.
Visit Dr. Simons' research lab webpage.

Mailing Address:
Fish Collection, Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota
100 Ecology Building
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas

Over 400,000 scientific records and up to 175,000 high-resolution images make up our extensive online database.

This searchable interface integrates data on birds, mammals, fishes, plants, and fungi to provide public collections access and enhance agencies' capacity to perform a range of activities from biological surveys to conservation planning.