Big Fish soon will retire from the aquarium at the Selma-Dallas County Library. -- Tim Reeves photo

Lovable Big Fish to retire

Published 1:26am Friday, December 3, 2010

Big Fish is finishing a stellar career as an attraction at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

“He’s approaching that age that we all get to when it’s time to do a little resting,” library Director Becky Nichols said. “So, we are going to send Big Fish off to a retirement aquarium.”

BankTrust will provide the retirement tank.

BankTrust Area President John Chislom said the institution is proud to have a part in providing a retirement opportunity for Big Fish.

The bank will also provide for a new baby Big Fish to arrive shortly after the senior fish retires.

Kirk Johnson, a vice president at the bank, said his children love the fish-in-residence at the library.

“I’ll be happy to tell them we have a part in bringing the new baby Big Fish to the library,” Johnson said.

Big Fish, a Doctorfish, has swum in an aquarium in the library for 16 years.

Former Selma City Councilwoman Jean Martin donated money to purchase the fish. Then, when the tank became too small for Big Fish several years later Martin and former Councilwoman Nancy Sewell provided the larger tank, Big Fish’s current home.

“I was a longtime volunteer at the library,” she said. “It brightened up that whole section of the library. It brightened up a lot of people. People talked about it and loved it.”

At the time Big Fish came to live at the library, few areas in the state had large tanks and such attractions, Martin said.

“The children — they loved it,” Martin said. “They got to know him as a friend.”

Nichols said the decision is a sad one. After all, Big Fish is an icon at the library.

Big Fish will remain in the library until the new home is ready, meaning folks who want to visit to wish Big Fish well may do so.

Nichols said the library would take a task at a time. The first order of business is to take care of the fish.

“We want to care for our old fish first, as we so beautifully care for our old people in our community,” Nichols said.

Once that’s accomplished, the search will begin for a new fish and the process will continue. “That last part, probably first of the year, I think,” she said.

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  • e1948eas

    Maybe they say retire because they don’t want him to croak and upset the kids. After all he’s 16 and that might mean there’s not much swimming left. Nothing else comes close to making any sense.

  • lightenup

    Lady GaGa of Selma..can I have your autograph BF?

  • ionsparrow

    “We want to care for our old fish first, as we so beautifully care for our old people in our community…” RUN, OLD PEOPLE, RUN!!!

  • ionsparrow

    …..AND….if this is BankTrust’s way of being “bankish” then, I believe I’ll change banks. Someone needs to speak for BIG FISH. Believe me…Retirement isn’t all its cracked up to be! Just when you’ve given it all you’ve got…they want to throw you out with the fish tank water! Let him swim in peace! Show your appreciation for all that he has given to you/Selma by taking care of him right there in the library for the rest of his life!
    Merry Christmas, BIG FISH!

  • ionsparrow

    What does it mean to “Retire” BIG FISH? I think I want a shirt that says, “SAVE BIG FISH!” This doesn’t make sense. You even said in the video that the children love BIG FISH….and I’m sure that he loves them too. Why on earth would you send him away to a “RETIREMENT AQUARIUM?” And, just what IS a RETIREMENT AQUARIUM? Please don’t send him away. Take care of him until he….well…until.
    BANKTRUST…I’m disappointed.
    S A V E B I G F I S H !

  • incredibleSE

    Why would you retire a fish at a library? Not like he was performing tricks and doing shows. He is already retired and he’s spending it at the library.

  • ionsparrow

    WHY? Maybe he doesn’t WANT to RETIRE! Maybe he loves his home right there in the library where he knows his surroundings. WHY? WHY can’t you just keep him? I think it’s SAD for BIG FISH and for the children of Selma!!! I’m disappointed that you would do such a thing. I say, “Leave BIG FISH alone and get another tank if you want more fish!”

  • e1948eas

    Why not sell Big Fish shirts and make some money for the Library ?

  • Auburn_Fan

    Oh he’s going to another aquarium? Oh well, there goes the fish and chips idea. And I even bought hush puppies and tartar sauce :(

  • fleecing foundation

    I want a BIG FISH shirt!!!!

  • acreeves


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