U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Neosho National Fish Hatchery Newsletter
Catching Up with Spring
Over the last two months, hatchery staff has kept busy with
springtime responsibilities. In addition to the scheduled tours,
extended weekend hours, and increased visitors at the new visitor
center, the staff has also been preoccupied with fish production.
Pallid sturgeon fry
The pallid sturgeon broodstock from last year are back in the Missouri River. Of these adults, we attempted to
spawn one female and male pair. Unfortunately, the female never released her eggs even though she was
gravid with what appeared to be fully developed eggs. None of the other fish were reproductive or a
genetically viable match. This year’s unsuccessful spawning of sturgeon is an example of the challenges still
encountered with endangered pallid sturgeon propagation.
The silver lining to the story is that we now have space to accommodate pallid sturgeon fry from Blind Pony
State Fish Hatchery. These fish are about a month and a half old and occupy all the tanks we have for
sturgeon fry. They are active and readily eat grated frozen brine shrimp. In addition to the new fry, the
hatchery has ten new pallid broodstock that will be held on-station until next year’s spawning time.
The juvenile pallids from last year’s spawn will be
tagged and stocked by the end of summer.
As for rainbow trout, the raceways and tank room are
completely full. Production fish have been moved to the
raceways to avoid the warmer temperatures and
increased sunlight currently in the ponds. The next
stocking trip is in mid-June.
Graduate student Ben Bosman and FWS employee
Bryan Simmons from Dr. Chris Barnhart’s native mussel
Bryan Simmons divides the fatmuckets into the buckets. lab at Missouri State University visited Neosho to
retrieve some water samples. They lent us a
“tubweller”, or floating upweller in a tub, and dropped off some fatmuckets.
These native mussels are considered common in the state of Missouri. While
not endangered, they are susceptible to the same water quality and bank
destabilization problems that all freshwater mussels face.
The fatmuckets are divided into four different buckets within the upweller system.
Each bucket is capped with mesh on both ends. The fatmuckets are positioned
between the mesh screens and filter feed as water moves up through the
compartment. The “used” water is then pumped out of the floating upweller
(flupsy), continuously allowing new water to flow in from the bottom.
The flupsy is teaching us how to optimize pond conditions for mussel growth.
The mesh screens clogging more than once a week indicates that the set-up still
needs tweaking. Through trial and error, staff is learning what works within the
pond set-up. A view of the tub without its cover
and the four buckets containing
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
LEED Gold Certified
The Neosho National Fish Hatchery (NFH) Visitor Center, which opened its
doors to the public in December 2010, achieved Gold status according
to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system. It is the first facility
within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Fisheries program to receive this
prestigious rating. To learn about the specific details that qualified Neosho for a
LEED Gold rating, please visit this website:
Making their Mark
Last Saturday, the Colonial Dames, officially titled the Captain Robert Napier Chapter of National Society
Colonial Dames XVII Century,
recognized the Neosho National
Fish Hatchery as an important
historic site in southwest Missouri.
One of their main goals is to get
historic sites within their region
recognized by the national
organization in Washington D.C.
The hatchery is honored and
humbled to be recognized. The
marker is located on the visitor
center exterior wall between the
roundabout and the main entrance
from the parking lot.
During April and May, as the end of the school year approaches, our tour schedule is usually full. Excluding walk-
in requests, we had 37 tours or 1,229 individuals. Some of the other events are included below.
Hatchery Manager David Hendrix presented information about the hatchery before the Springfield Trout
Association. The talk was given in Springfield to 60 attendees. They plan to follow up with a tour of the hatchery
Hatchery staff was present at the Business and Industry Review to answer questions and educate Neosho
residents about the fish hatchery.
The first PEEP (Partnership for Environmental Education Programs) day of the year was held April 1st in Cassville.
Although we always plan for an outdoor site and were hoping to meet at a nearby park, rainy weather altered the
schedule. Instead the sessions were conducted in classrooms at the Cassville Intermediate School. Subjects
covered during this PEEP day included aquatic life, animal families, trees, flowers, geology, recycling, and
bison/elk. Each of the 145 participants received a handout for each subject covered.
We are also thrilled that the community is taking advantage of the Rainbow Room in the new visitor center. If
visitors would like to book the room for a meeting or get-together, they call to schedule in advance and we have it
ready for them to use. Within the last three weeks, eight different social groups have used the room.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
A Tree Planted for the Former President
On Sunday, April 15th, the Friends of the Neosho NFH arranged a small memorial Training
service for their former president, Jerry Christian, at the fish hatchery. Hatchery
manager David Hendrix, the Friends group, and some of Christian’s family and Adminstrative
friends gathered to help plant a native dogwood in his name. During the service, Assistant Heather
family and friends had honored Christian with thoughtful words and prayers. Williams attended the
The week before, members of the Friends group prepared the area and positioned a Financial and Business
commemorative memorial in front of the tree. The memorial is beautifully landscaped Management System
with mulch and is situated near one of the picnic shelters. (FBMS) Deployment
in Denver, Colorado.
The meeting brought
over 300 participants
together from 3
different FWS regions
to discuss the
conversion from the
(FFS) to FBMS.
Hendrix and Asst.
May completed the
Hatchery Open House in Colfax, IA. The
This April, we held our annual open house in course was held by
conjunction with Missouri Department of Fish and Wildlife
Service and only staff
Conservation’s (MDC) Dogwood Tour and tree
giveaway at the fish hatchery. With the new visitor from within Region 3
was in attendance.
center open, the day attracted approximately 1500
visitors. The exhibit hall accommodated a snake
educator and a few live specimens. Biologist Melissa
While visitors roamed around the hatchery and mollusk experts and
enthusiasts at the
visited with vendors, they listened to the
sounds of local bands Uncut Dog and Now or Freshwater Mollusk
Never. This year, event presenters included
meeting. Held in
the Southwest Missouri Beekeepers, Mako
Flyfishers, MDC’s Forestry staff, Crowder Louisville, Kentucky,
the week-long biennial
Community College’s Solar Energy
Department, Neosho’s 4-H club, Neosho meeting’s focus
covered the past and
Master Gardeners selling native plants,
future of mussel
George Washington Carver National
Monument, and the Environmental Department management.
from the Eastern Shawnee Tribe.
from as far as Canada
and Luxembourg to
share their research.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Hatchery staff Heather and Dave made hundreds of cookies for the community
event. The Friends group arrived early to help set up and were a huge help to
hatchery staff. Friends of the Neosho NFH served coffee and cookies in the
morning, worked inside the gift shop, directed traffic, manned the barbecue grill,
and kept the hotdogs and snacks coming. The event brought many visitors from
around the four-state area. Judging by the packed parking areas and steady
flow of visitors throughout the day, the event was a success!
The Retired Teachers Association traveled from
Springfield, an hour and a half away, for a tour of the
hatchery. The group was comprised of retired teachers
from all over the United States. Assistant Manager Rod
May led the tour and took the group through the
processes of fish culture at Neosho NFH.
Local Artist Shows Support
We are increasingly impressed by the local talent that supports
our fish hatchery. Over the course of a couple days, artist W.
Jeffrey Jones observed and photographed the hatchery
grounds and staff (his photos were used in the seining
slideshow on the hatchery blog). The photo on the right is a
print from one of his pieces centered on the Neosho National
Fish Hatchery. The piece was originally drawn in pencil by the
local artist who had the drawing reproduced as a fine art print.
The print is available in two sizes: 8 1/2 x 14" and 13 x 19" and
can be purchased in the gift shop. The display shelf was built
by the artist’s father and perfectly fits the display space.
In addition to a couple smaller pieces, Jones is also working on
a mural that will include the hatchery and hatchery staff. This
project is being commissioned by First Community Bank for
installation in their newest facility currently under construction in
Neosho. The painting will be unveiled at the grand opening of
the new facility. The date is still to be announced.
Right upper: A scanned photo of the print (a portion of the left side did
not fit on the scanner).
Right lower: Jones and his wife pose in front of his prints for sale in
the gift shop.
Unless otherwise stated, articles are written and assembled by Melissa Cheung.
Interested in learning more about what we do? Visit our blog at www.NeoshoNFH.blogspot.com
520 E Park Street, Neosho, MO 64850