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Joplin Globe: Sen. Blunt visits Neosho hatchery

March 25, 2018

NEOSHO, Mo. — Sen. Roy Blunt, who has been traveling across the region, stopped Monday at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery with his son, Charlie, to learn more about the hatchery’s programs and events.

They were greeted by the director of the hatchery, Roderick May, and several volunteers who gave their guests a tour of the visitors center, the ponds, the hatchery and the raceway.

“The more Sen. Blunt knows and is informed about the programs, the more inclined he is when he goes back to Washington to help our programs as he has done before,” May said.

The hatchery houses primarily rainbow trout, pallid sturgeon and Topeka shiner, the latter two being endangered species. The hatchery receives about 75,000 rainbow trout eggs at a time, five times a year, from Ennis, Montana. The fish are raised in the hatchery to between 9 to 10 inches in length before they are released into Lake Taneycomo at Branson.

The hatchery has also implemented several programs and projects in which it rescues endangered fish such as pallid sturgeon and Topeka shiner.

Blunt said he came to visit the hatchery to congratulate those involved in its operation for the projects and events they have put in place.

“What we see here is continued progress toward trying to find new ways to do things more effectively and more efficiently,” Blunt said.

May said the hatchery receives about 60,000 visitors per year and has more than 100 volunteers who help organize events throughout the year.

The Neosho National Fish Hatchery, established in 1888, is the oldest operating federal fish hatchery in the United States. It is one of 70 hatcheries operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a mission to conserve and protect the nation’s fishery resources, according to its website.

Derby days

The hatchery organizes three free fishing days during the year. One for military veterans was conducted earlier this month; derbies for children and senior citizens will be put on in June.

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