Neosho NFH Newsletter Aug-Oct 09 by NeoshoNFH


									                              U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
                           Neosho National Fish Hatchery Newsletter
                                                                          August-October 2009

PEEP If You Love Nature!

                                               As a member of the Partnership for Environmental
                                               Education Programs, fondly referred to as PEEP,
                                               Neosho National Fish Hatchery has been busy
                                               networking with 7 other environmental sites in
                                               southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas. The
                                               alliance of local agencies has created a unique way to
                                               encourage children and families to go outdoors and
                                               visit local state and federal lands.

                                                  It’s called PEEP day and it gives 3rd, 4th, and 5th
                                                  graders a rare opportunity to learn about the nature
                                                  that surrounds them. Depending on the weather,
                                                  classes are conducted outside, and often involve live
                                                  animals and interactive games or activities. Each
facility hosting a PEEP day chooses four main subjects, and groups of 10-30 children rotate between
the four subject stations. The three PEEP days thus far have taught the following subjects: Water
Quality, Fish and Aquatic Macroinvertebrates, Tree Identification, Outdoor Ethics, Aquatic/Riparian
Wildlife, Recycling, Plants and Their Adaptations, and Animal Families. While the hosting facility
plans the agenda and teaching sites, all PEEP staff work together to organize the curriculum of the
day. Instructors come from diverse backgrounds including state game wardens, federal park rangers,
biologists, and outreach staff that specialize in a variety of programs.

To encourage further involvement outdoors, each student is given a PEEP passport to share with
their family. Each pamphlet contains a map to the 8 environmental sites within the PEEP alliance and
activities to complete while visiting each location. Children follow PEEP’s mascot, a Spring Peeper
frog, through the pamphlet to complete all the pages including a Certificate of Completion at the end.

Each environmental site has one page in the pamphlet with their contact information and activities to
complete. For example, if a child were to visit Neosho National Fish Hatchery with their PEEP
passport, they would need to complete the pages corresponding to Neosho NFH in order to receive a
stamp at the bottom of the page. After travelling to other PEEP locations and completing at least 6 of
the pages in the passport, they receive a Spring Peeper patch!

Thus far, Missouri Department of Conservation’s Roaring River State
Park and Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center have each
hosted a PEEP day, one for MacDonald County schools and another for
Newton County schools, respectively. National Park Service’s George
Washington Carver National Monument hosted their PEEP day last
spring, and already began planning their second PEEP day for spring
                                     U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

                                                                                   August-October 2009

                                                      Each PEEP day has received much positive
                                                      feedback from local schools, parents, and
                                                      teachers. We are enthusiastic about the continued
                                                      success of this program, and look forward to
                                                      contacting many more students. Ultimately, the
                                                      partnership hopes this interaction with children
                                                      plants a small seed of inspiration and care for the
                                                      environment that grows in support and interest as
                                                      they mature.

                                                      You can visit our blog to view the PEEP passport.

The Solar Energy Division at Crowder Community College is working with Neosho NFH to create a
system that uses solar, photovoltaic cells to heat and maintain constant temperature of the well water in
our new sturgeon building.

This September, the first meeting for the Visitor Center was held at the hatchery. The exhibit designer
flew in from Atlanta, GA to discuss display construction and installation. Regional Engineer Carol Fix
from Minneapolis and contractor Crossland Construction were also present.

The Endangered Pallid Sturgeon Middle Basin Work Group held their annual meeting to discuss the
successes and failures of the year’s propagation efforts. Members reviewed and evaluated the current
progress of the work group and determined the goals that still need to be accomplished.

   Current Events in Fish Production
                                                              As a special send-off to our last summer intern
                                                              of the year Josh Jennings, biologists Jaime
                                                              Pacheco and Melissa Cheung brought him
                                                              along to stock rainbow trout in Knoxville, Iowa.
                                                              The delivery of 1500 fish to the Knoxville VA
                                                              Medical Center is a routine annual fish trip that
                                                              benefits the hospital’s veteran rehabilitation
                                                              program. Fish are stocked into a small pond
                                                              on the medical center’s property, giving
                                                              veterans an opportunity for recreation and
                                                              physical activity. The 12-hour roundtrip drive
                                                              was made more interesting and entertaining
                                                              with Josh on-board. We have appreciated his

                                      U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

                                                                                          August-October 2009
hard work and assistance at our hatchery and wish him well in his future career pursuits.

Sturgeon Swim South for the Winter
This September, we
received pallid sturgeon from                                                               Assistant Manager
Gavins Point NFH. These                                                                     Roderick May traveled to
fish were spawned here at                                                                   Nashville, Tennessee for
Neosho, reared at Gavins                                                                    the National Triploid
Point in warm, nutrient-rich                                                                Grass Carp Inspection and
water, and returned to us at                                                                Certification Program.
9 inches. These pallids, and
those we received earlier                                                                   Adminstrative Assistant
from Blind Pony SFH, were                                                                   Heather Williams
brought here to over-winter.                                                                attended Foundations
The heated spring water and                                                                 training at NCTC.
moderate well water
temperatures will allow the                                                                 Lead Biologist Jaime
fish to eat and grow                                                                        Pacheco attended the
continuously. We hope to                                                                    Applied Supervision
be able to hold them until they reach at least 15 inches.                                   course at NCTC.

Reflecting on the Past Year                                                                 Biologist Melissa
                                                                                            Cheung participated in a
Now that October is here, and the mad dash to complete end of the fiscal year               team effort called
paperwork is over, I’d like to take a moment to enjoy the beginning of fall…the    to
cooler temperatures, the changing color of the leaves, but also, I’d like to reflect on     improve communication
what happened during the 2009 fiscal year.                                                  throughout Fish and
                                                                                            Wildlife Service at NCTC.
                                                             Last year, Neosho
                                                             NFH’s total number of          Biologists Jaime
                                                             fish stocked came to           Pacheco, Jeff Messens
                                                             354,338 weighing               and Melissa Cheung
                                                             100,120 pounds. Fish           drove to Savanna, Illinois
                                                             were stocked in                for Agricultural Tractor
                                                             Missouri, Nebraska,            Safety Training.
                                                             Iowa, South Dakota, and
                                                             Arkansas. There were           Manager David Hendrix
                                                             61 fish trips, including       and Asst. Manager
                                                             3,291 total pallid             Roderick May attended
                                                             sturgeon stocked. Their        the Blacks in Government
                                                             lengths averaged               Conference, a week-long
                                                             between 11 and 15              training, recruitment, and
                                                             inches.                        networking experience in
                                                                                            Baltimore, MD. The
                                                        Besides production, we              conference involved
also participated in conferences, workshops, and meetings. This includes the                project leaders from every
Project Leaders Meeting that was hosted here in Neosho. On-site, we had a                   agency of the federal
record number of nine interns this summer. This was made possible through                   government.
placement and funding by the A+ Program, Division of Youth Services, and the

                                          U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

                                                                                                  August-October 2009
   Next Generation Jobs Team. Our staff also gave tours of the facility to over 1500 local school kids and visitors.
   We participated in over 30 different public events such as five regional fishing derbies, year-round off-site
   school programs, and local community functions spanning Newton, Jasper, and MacDonald counties. And at
   Christmas, we paraded ourselves through town. In short, fiscal year 2009 was all good.

                                              Thank you letters from our visitors.
   -Jaime Pacheco

A Mural in the Visitor Center
Plans are in motion to install a mural in the Neosho NFH’s Visitor Center. Although still in the early stages of
planning, the discussed mural will be funded by the non-profit Newton County Tourism Council and Neosho’s
branch of Community Bank and Trust. The mural, which will be painted by a local muralist, will become part of a
bigger program that promotes local mural artists and the local community. The hatchery looks forward to being
added to the already existing Mural Walking Tour around Neosho. To learn about this, go to:

                      The Hatchery Book is Here
                      The new hatchery book that highlights the past and present of the Neosho National Fish
                      Hatchery is now available. Authored by Kay Hively and Larry James, long-time members of
                      our Friends Group, the book is a collaborative effort that discusses the history of this
                      hatchery’s rich past up to the groundbreaking ceremony of our Visitor Center on July 1,
                      2009. Visit the hatchery blog to view the article posted in the Neosho Daily News.

                        Unless otherwise stated, articles are written and assembled by Melissa Cheung.

        Interested in learning more about what we do? Visit our blog at
                                      520 E Park Street, Neosho, MO 64850

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