Whether it is coming to the aid of someone in need, or simply working together toward the same goal, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery prides itself in being a good neighbor.

Whether it is coming to the aid of someone in need, or simply working together toward the same goal, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery prides itself in being a good neighbor.
We love to hold community events where people of all ages can come to enjoy themselves and hopefully learn about what we do, why we do it and how it benefits the public in various ways. Most notably, we hold three fishing events each year – the first one coming in March and the others in June. We also have an Open House where people and organizations present various booths and where the Missouri Department of Conservation gives out their free trees. In addition to those, we’ve hosted concerts, weddings, parties, picnics, meetings, school and parent groups, and even the local fire department for training exercises.
We also are able to provide summer employment for high school aged youth that are willing to work hard in the hot sun. Last year we had one amazing young, hard-worker helping out to make our grounds look sharp and help out with various fish-raising chores. In previous years we’ve had as many as three. We also have people that volunteer their time to help out as well – running the bookstore as well as getting their hands and feet wet with some fish culture experience. There always seems to be enough to do around here!
Beyond the immediate community, we also love partnering with various organizations and agencies that are doing things with aquatic conservation that can use our help. We’ve helped a private group in the Kansas City area put on outreach fishing events to inner city youth, we’ve helped tribal hatcheries across the nation, partnered with state and federal conservation offices, shared resources with various universities and our own hatchery manager even went to China to help spread his knowledge and goodwill to foreign audiences.
In recent weeks, we’ve met with our fine trout cohorts at Shepherd of the Hills state fish hatchery in Branson. Because of some changes in the fish numbers, management from both facilities saw the wisdom of working together to make the necessary changes to this coming year’s production. We also attended a year-end meeting at George Washington Carver National Historic Site to celebrate our partnership with the fine people there that preserve and protect that resource. What a privilege to work with those great partners!
The effort needed to adequately address all the myriad conservation issues is far bigger than any one hatchery, office, organization or agency can possibly solve. Everyone needs to work together for the good of our neighborhoods, counties, states and whole world. We need people just like you to help in any way you can, whether seemingly small or large. Partnership is the way big things get done, and conservation is definitely a very big task that needs everyone’s participation. We are pleased to do our part – and we are so very thankful for your help along the way!

Bruce Hallman writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.