KANSAS CITY — One of the goals of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is to get kids outdoors. The best way the hatchery has to do this is to put a fishing pole in their hands and watch them catch a string full of fish.

KANSAS CITY — One of the goals of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is to get kids outdoors. The best way the hatchery has to do this is to put a fishing pole in their hands and watch them catch a string full of fish.
On Saturday, June 17, hatchery staff drove to Kansas City to support a kids fishing event sponsored by Urban American Outdoors.
This event is attended mostly by intercity kids, many of whom have never held a fishing rod. The hatchery staff and some of the local Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery were on hand to help. The hatchery and the friends group also provided hundreds of catfish that were used to stock the pond in downtown Kansas City.
The two Neosho groups also provided rods and reels, bait, bobbers and snacks.
This is the third summer that Neosho has helped with this event which attracts dozens of kids and their families. Helping the kids fish in Kansas City is rewarding for everyone.
"Anything we can do to get kids outdoors, we will try if we can," said Russell Hively, president of the local friends group. "There nothing more exciting for a kid than to feel a tug on a fishing line."
The hatchery and friends hold three fishing derbies each year: a veterans derby in March, a kids and a senior citizens/handicapped derby, both held in June.
The friends pay for all the fishing rods and reels, food for the veterans and senior derbies, all the bait and all the associated items such as bobbers, sinkers and zip lock bags that are used for the fishermen to take their catch home.
Funds for the derbies and other projects are raised mostly by the Friends Gift Shop located in the Visitor Center at the hatchery. The gift shop is run completely by volunteers, who clerk, stock shelves, keep books, and do the banking.
Funding for the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is through donations and $10 annual memberships.