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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Local hatchery provides fish for Iowa

  • Accepting the call for help from the Iowa fish hatcheries, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery provided assistance today to replenish lost fish due to the recent floods in Iowa.


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  • Accepting the call for help from the Iowa fish hatcheries, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery provided assistance today to replenish lost fish due to the recent floods in Iowa.
    “Back in early June, we had severe flooding across much of Iowa, including two of our hatcheries that were flooded and lost in the neighborhood of a couple hundred thousand fingerling trout,” said Dave Marolf, Manchester, Iowa, Hatchery manager.
    “These were mostly rainbow trout. We were fortunate to find several locations, Neosho being one of them, where they had over production. We have gone to a half a dozen hatcheries getting fish.”
    Some of the hatcheries were located in North Dakota and Wisconsin, and eggs shipped in as well.
    “So we are going all over the place to replenish our supply,” said Marolf.
    To help out, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery provided 10,000 fish, weighing a total of 400 pounds, according to Dave Hendrix, the local hatchery manager.
    “Iowa has always been our partner, and it is all about partnering, helping people and others,” Hendrix said. “There is a time that we are going to need something, and they would be there for us. We are just glad that we had fish that we could help them.”
    Marolf and the other Iowa hatcheries put out a feeler on the Internet and contacted hatcheries for assistance.
    And the fish that were picked up today will be used for next year’s season, at Big Spring Hatchery in Elkader, Iowa.
    “These will be next year’s stocking size fish, we stock between 12-14 inch trout in Iowa,” Marolf said. “So they will be in 2009. Our entire system encompasses 200 streams in Iowa for release.”
    The trip back to Iowa is a long one, about 10 hours. The Iowa team, comprising of Marolf and Brian Malaise, hatchery manager of Decorah State Fish Hatchery, left today, with three tanks on the back of a flatbed Ford F-350.
    “We still have to go to Illinois and North Dakota to get the fish,” Marlon said. “That will be after we drop off these fish.”
    According to Marolf, his hatchery in Manchester received about $100,000 worth of damage.
    “We had water in our office building, about eight inches deep,” Marolf said. “However our largest rearing station called Big Spring Hatchery received nine feet of water into the building. So they were pretty much wiped out. And that is where we lost most of our fish, estimated at $300,000.”
    The weather in Iowa is doing much better now.
    “The floods are pretty much receding across Iowa, but we are still very wet,” said Marolf. “It has affected a lot of things from businesses to agriculture to our natural resources to damage across the state. A lot of roads washed out. A lot of the infrastructure is damaged, so access to our fishing areas are our biggest problem.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Both Malaise and Marolf said they were very pleased with the help.
    “It has been great, had we not gotten the assistance from other hatcheries, Iowa trout fishermen would have been hurt,” said Marolf.
    “This is a savior for the Iowa trout people,” Malaise added.
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