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National Geographic Films

Mermet Springs on National Geographic Channel

Mermet Springs was recently used by famous biologist/ecologist/photographer Zeb Hogan with National Geographic for its “Monster-fish” television series. The focus of the filming was our spoonbills or “paddle-fish”. The show aired on the National Geographic Channel in the fall of 2013.


The “Monster-fish” series follows the National Geographic “Megafishes Project” which is a three-year effort to document the 20-some species of freshwater fish at least 6.5 feet in length or 220 pounds in weight. These fish are losing the fight for survival as pollution, over-fishing and construction threaten the rivers and lakes they call home. The project spans six continents and encompasses expeditions to study 14 of Earth’s most diverse freshwater ecosystems and ecological treasures. Zeb Hogan and his National Geographic team will gather information about the life history, population status, geographic range and grades associated to each focal species. One of these target species is the spoonbill or paddle-fish, which are abundantly found at the Mermet Springs quarry in Illinois.

Spoonbills are a prehistoric throwback that have huge mouths and are known to grow larger than six feet in length. Mermet Springs protects all of its fish and prohibits fishing, thus the spoonbill have thrived within the beautiful 8.5-acre, spring-fed quarry.

Glen Faith, owner and manager of Mermet Springs said “We are ecstatic that National Geographic has chosen Mermet Springs as a location to film its “Monster-fish” series. We have given thousands of divers a chance to see and swim with the paddlefish. Most people would never have an opportunity to see a paddlefish as they live in the murky rivers and only a few fisherman or people at aquariums get to see them. At our facility, people are able to photograph them and see them in their natural environment. Swimming beside a paddlefish and watching them open their huge mouths and feed is truly an incredible experience.”

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