The Documentaries

Ms Wills has produced several award-winning documentaries for the series "Exotic and Unusual Fishes" which was broadcast on PBS networks as well as internationally.

The Alligator Gar: Predator or Prey?
#1 Nielsen-rated "program of the evening" during the July sweeps.      

Narrated by David Henry - part of the series, Exotic & Unusual Fishes.

First video documentary ever produced or broadcast about alligator gar, a species of fish that can breathe both air and water. The program was presented as a half-hour public awareness special. It was broadcast on PBS and internationally in Canada, Japan, UAE and throughout Europe at a time when alligator gar were unregulated "trash fish". Within a decade after the broadcast, regulations were enacted to help ensure the future of alligator gar.

The Paddlefish: An American Treasure

Hosted by Alex Cord - part of the series, Exotic & Unusual Fishes.

A one-hour public awareness special first broadcast on PBS, then released internationally. The documentary features the biology and life history cycle of paddlefish, the only living species of its kind. Despite being a highly derived species, paddlefish have retained some of their ancestral characteristics which explains the reference to primitive fish or living dinosaurs.  The program also includes a reenactment of an undercover sting operation by special agents with U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the Missouri Department of Conservation in a joint effort to stop the destructive poaching of paddlefish for their roe.

Sturgeon: Ancient Survivors of the Deep

Hosted by James Drury, opening score by Timothy Drury - part of the series, Exotic & Unusual Fishes. 

A one-hour special first broadcast on PBS, then released internationally. Field production began on the Hudson River in New York and included multiple stops during the production crew's journey west to the Columbia River Gorge in Washington. The documentary features the life history cycle of sturgeons in North America, including interviews with world renowned scientists, researchers, fish biologists, and conservationists.  Actor/comedian Bill Murray is also featured as a guest speaker at the International Sturgeon Conference in New York. 

River Invaders: The Scourge of Zebra Mussels

Hosted by James Drury - part of the series, Invasive Species of North America.

Zebra mussels are considered to be the most threatening of all exotic species that have invaded North American waters. They are spreading rapidly throughout the rivers of the United States and have moved inland, infesting lakes and reservoirs. Infestations of zebra mussels filter food and nutrients out of the water column. They have caused a paradigm shift in some systems, changing fish populations that once included healthy populations of pelagic fishes into systems that consist primarily of benthic or bottom feeders.  If you haven't heard of zebra mussels by now, you will. It's only a matter of time.

Background images by Betty Wills

© 2016 Betty Wills