Dealing with real estate issues and preparing for a retirement were two of the main issues at the June 16 night meeting of the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

Dealing with real estate issues and preparing for a retirement were two of the main issues at the June 16 night meeting of the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
The house at 612 East Hickory St., which the Friends purchased, is now completely gone and the lot is leveled and filled. Bryan Ward, the contractor, was praised for his efforts in helping with this project. In related news, it was announced that James Loncarich of Hurst-Rosche Engineering, in Neosho, will conduct the necessary survey of the lot. The original bid was $375, but the company said because the Friends and the hatchery do so much good for the community, they will work without any fee.
The other land that was purchased along Park Street is still under review by the Fish and Wildlife Regional office in Minnesota. The hatchery property near the school farm which is scheduled to be given to the school is being examined for historical purposes by the Service.
The group will hold a "farewell picnic" for retiring manager, Dave Hendrix. Friends members, hatchery staff and a limited number of special guests will be invited. The group plans a public "come and go" event later for Hendrix.
The second edition of the Friends cookbook was introduced at the meeting. The book contains many recipes and also many photographs from the hatchery over the years. The book is for sale in the Friends bookstore/giftshop. Profits from the bookstore are used to fund the group's projects.
The staff reported that the number of rods and reels is getting low. This fishing gear is used  three times each year at the three local derbies and at two inner-city kids fishing events in Kansas City. The wear and tear is taking its toll. Jeff Messens said that if some fishermen or some "fix-it" guys or gals in the community would donate their time, some of the rod and reels could be repaired, perhaps by using two to make one. Also, all the reels need new lines. The group hopes someone will volunteer to repair and restring the old rods. The group plans to buy 100 new rods and reels when the treasury is built up again. They thinks they can get some discounts and obtains the rods and reels for about twelve dollars each.
Future projects are the construction of a "food shack," and a presentation on his trip to China by Dave Hendrix, at the regional office in Bloomington, Minnesota. While in Minnesota Hendrix will receive the Champion Award for his efforts with the endangered Topeka Shiner.