The Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the most visible federal facility in Neosho, was re-opened to the public this morning.
The hatchery has been closed since noon on Oct. 1.
Work was in full swing as the staff got back into their routines. About 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout were moved out in early morning. The state of Missouri had a truck at the hatchery early to take the fish for stocking in Lake Taneycomo.
A large group of third graders from Noel Elementary School was touring the hatchery soon after it opened. They toured the grounds and the visitor center.
Some staffers were trying to catch up on the mowing, and other staffers were sweeping the entrances and doing minor housekeeping.
According to David Hendrix, the hatchery is open and working as usual, and the public is invited to come anytime during the day. Several walkers were on hand today and Hendrix invites all walkers to use the grounds for their daily hikes.
The staff is also preparing to fill the ponds for winter. Rainbow trout do not fare well in hot weather and are kept indoors, but they spend the winter in the outdoor ponds. Hendrix expects the ponds to all be filled by Tuesday of next week.
A chamber of commerce "after hours" event is scheduled at the hatchery for Tuesday, Oct. 22. Preliminary plans were made to host that event with First Community Bank and Trust.
The Friends bookstore was opened and new stock was added, including the new Missouri Nature Calendar for 2014.
The public was coming for many reasons: to get national park passes, to view the exhibits and just to enjoy the hatchery now that it is open.