Divers give kids a splash of a show - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Divers give kids a splash of a show

December 23, 2004

Albany - It is not everyday that you get to see Flint River bass dine on slimy cuisine. On Thursday, YMCA kids got to see that very thing while on a field trip to the Riverquarium.

Splash! Volunteer divers are getting ready to wow an anxious crowd. The kids yell, "Ooohhhhh!" Six-year-old Antonio Jackson says, "They [divers] were swimming and feeding the fish."

The Flint River bass get hand fed at the Riverquarium. Certified diver, Bobby Spencer, says, "They're [fish] drawn to you and you can reach out and pet them."

On the menu, Jackson, explains, "They were eating squid."

Actually, it's USDA approved calamari. Vice Senior Aquarist, Holly Hayden, points to the squid, "These are something you would find on your dinner plate when you go to a certain restaurant."

The fish have BIG appetites. Spencer adds, "There're fish in here two and a half foot long. Being able to interact and hand feed the fish it's excellent, it's great."

Great for the kids and exciting for volunteer divers. Spencer smiles, "The way I look at it, it's a big kid having fun, basically this is somewhere I can have fun, feed fish and educate the children as much as I know about the fish, but this mostly is for me having fun."

You can watch the divers have fun every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM.

The Riverquarium has dive shows at 10:30 AM during the week for large groups, but those are by appointment only.

The Riverquarium will be closed Christmas Day.

posted at 4:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com