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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • JANICE EATON: Hatchery more involved in mussels

  • Lead biologist Jaime Pacheco and Maintenance Engineer Ray Villa traveled to Missouri State University to attain 150 fat mucket mussels.
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  • Lead biologist Jaime Pacheco and Maintenance Engineer Ray Villa traveled to Missouri State University to attain 150 fat mucket mussels. The hatchery is becoming more involved in the mussel recovery program with the actual rearing and natural propagation of the mussels onsite. Formerly the hatchery served in providing the "host" drum fish to Missouri State University's biology department. Now we have our own tanks and hatchling trays in a dedicated space to incubate and grow our own mussels as well as the continued supply of drum fish to the university's propagation program. Certain freshwater mussels have become endangered and this type of work is critical in bringing these species back in balance.
    Hatchery biologists are making preparations for the upcoming pallid sturgeon spawning of three egg-carrying females. Eggs will be collected at intervals to determine readiness. USGS (United States Geological Survey) in Columbia, Mo., will either come to the hatchery to dissect and inspect the eggs or eggs will be taken to them. Eggs will be measured and at the appropriate time the hormone LHRH will be injected into the females. The Blind Pony fish hatchery will be notified and male pallid sturgeons will be brought to our facility to fertilize the eggs. If Blind Pony hatchery does not have any viable males, sperm will be sent from the national repository.
    Our Kid's Fishing Derby will be held Friday, June 7, and will be done a little differently this year due to the large response in the past. We will now have two sessions, one in the morning from 9 to 11 and one in the afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. The first 200 to register for each session will be the only ones to fish for the day. Pre-registration can be done at the hatchery and must be done in person as parents have to sign a permission slip. Hatchery hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will not be served this year. The derby age limit is still 7-12 years of age. Poles and bait will be provided for the fishing, no personal fishing gear allowed and no license is required.
    See you at our annual open house in conjunction with the Neosho Dogwood Tour on Sunday, April 21, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Free hot dog lunch served at noon. Live music, exhibitors and free tree distribution by the Missouri Department of Conservation are featured highlights. Long distance visitors of the week are Zack and Natalie Murch from Seattle, Wash. Local visitors of the week are Cindy Culp and Chris Rohrs of Independence, Mo.
    Janice Eaton is the automation clerk at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
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