The Neosho National Fish Hatchery hosted their annual senior/disability fishing day on Friday, June 9, with more than 250 people participating in the event.

The Neosho National Fish Hatchery hosted their annual senior/disability fishing day on Friday, June 9, with more than 250 people participating in the event.
The fishing day is used in part to clear the pond of fish before it is drained for seasonal cleanup. Those who attended were provided with all the gear they needed to get their catch.
"We've been doing it as long as I can remember. I've been here 18 years, and we have [held this event] most of that time," said Rod May, hatchery manager. "We've probably done this one longer than we've done the veterans derby, so we've done this for a long time."
Participants were limited to four fish, and asked not to throw any back, as the hatchery is trying to empty the pond of fish so that they can drain it of water.
"If you catch a small fish, you have to keep the small fish," May said. "No culling."
The limit on fish didn't seem to dispirit the fishermen and women, who began catching fish almost immediately after the event began. They gathered around the pond, casting their lines and waiting for the fish to bite.
"I've been fishing since I was six years old," said Deuane Frazier of Carthage. "My dad and I went camping together every weekend; we had a great relationship."     Frazier also has passed on his love of fishing to his daughter, and they enjoy fishing together at Roaring River.
"My favorite thing about fishing is the relaxation," Frazier said. "It's a little disturbing when you can't get a bite, but that's all a part of it. That's the way I feel, anyway."
May also stated that the fishing derby is a way for the fish hatchery to give back to the community.
    "Watching the people come in and have a good time and socialize; seeing the big smile on their face. . . [that] is what it's all about," he said.