Despite a few unseasonable snowflakes that fell Sunday morning and some below average temperatures for April, the annual Open House at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery continued as planned, held from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m.

Despite a few unseasonable snowflakes that fell Sunday morning and some below average temperatures for April, the annual Open House at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery continued as planned, held from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m.  
The event was held in conjunction with the annual Dogwood Tour, sponsored by the Rotary Club.
Hatchery manager Rod May said that cancelling the event wasn't an option.
"We brought everything inside," May said. "We decided to go with Plan B."
The light snow mixed with a little sleet early in the day didn't dampen the participants' enthusiasm.
"It's just not an outside day," May stated. "But most of the groups showed up, even though they didn't know where they would be, still thinking they might be outside."
The two musical groups, the Kufara Marimba Band and the Hairy Vetch Band, both performed inside the visitor's center. All the other exhibits that were slated to be set up outside, around the pond's perimeter were brought inside. Exhibits included representatives from the Missouri Conservation Department who provided some information and also handed out free trees of several varieties.
Those who attended had the opportunity to discuss what type trees would work best for their location.
A traditional free lunch from 11 a.m.. until 1 p.m, with hot dogs, chips, cookies, and a drink, was the only event that remained outside and hatchery employees bundled up against the cold to grill.
"We always like to provide a lunch," May said. "There's plenty."
Most of the visitors who attended the open house made time for a hot dog or two. A few event braved the chilly day to walk around the ponds to feed the fish or simply to enjoy the park-like setting.
The Neosho National Fish Hatchery began operating over a hundred years ago in 1888 and marks the 130th anniversary this year.  It ranks as America's oldest Federal Fish Hatchery still serving America.
Over the decades, more than 130 species of fish have been raised on site. Today, the fish hatchery focuses on rainbow trout, pallid sturgeon, and Topeka shiners.
The fish hatchery is located off east Mc Kinney Street in Neosho. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery is open daily except for federal holidays. Interactive exhibits and a gift shop are part of the visitors center. For more information, visit their Facebook page, phone 417-451-054 or visit the website located at https://www.fws.gov/midwest/neosho/about.html.





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