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U.S . Fish & Wildlife S ervice Neosho National Fish Hatchery Newsletter February -April 2010
U.S . Fish & Wildlife S ervice Neosho National Fish Hatchery Newsletter February -April 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Neosho National Fish Hatchery Newsletter

February -April 2010

It’s All Coming Together

Newsletter February -April 2010 It’s All Coming Together The onion dome required spotters on both sides

The onion dome required spotters on both sides to ensure the proper alignment and position.

The visitor center has really begun to look like the facility we have been imagining it could be for the last 6 years. Recent construction has produced a visible, tangible building that looks even better than our pictures of the computer-designed replica. The noticeable progress has been exciting to observe. In early March, the much discussed onion and pyramid domes were lifted and carefully positioned. By the end of March, the cement board siding was mostly nailed in and drywall installation was in full swing. Within a month, the drywall was mudded and ready for painting. The paint crew has taken less than three weeks to prime and paint the exterior siding and most of the interior already. Almost all painted surfaces are

on their second coat of paint. Other than some roof flashing, the metal roofing is now in place. All windows and most of the exterior doors have been installed. Solar panels have been placed on the south-facing slope of the roof and are working. The interior ceiling grid installation started this week. With so many changes, it is no surprise that we are not the only ones watching the progress closely. Along with spring and the warm weather come tours and increased visitors. They are just as eager to see the new center completed as we are. Knowing that it took the local community’s support, our local leaders’ backing, and cooperation within the Fish and Wildlife Service to make this building possible, we look forward to sharing this facility with the public. It is tangible evidence of what public support has achieved for the city of Neosho and for the future of fisheries.

for the city of Neosho and for the future of fisheries. Left Photo: Metal roofing is
for the city of Neosho and for the future of fisheries. Left Photo: Metal roofing is

Left Photo: Metal roofing is still being installed and siding on south side of building is complete. Right Photo: Most of the building has been painted two coats and solar panels are installed.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

February-April 2010

Proposed Listing of the Shovelnose Sturgeon

At the end of January, hatchery manager David Hendrix travelled to Cape Girardeau, MO to sit in on a public hearing regarding the proposed listing of the shovelnose sturgeon as threatened. Here is a brief summary regarding the issue taken from the Fish and Wildlife Service website:

‘On September 21, 2009, we announced a proposed rule to treat the shovelnose sturgeon as a threatened species under the Act. The shovelnose sturgeon and the endangered pallid sturgeon are difficult to differentiate in the wild and inhabit overlapping portions of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins. Four States where the two species commonly coexist allow for commercial fishing of shovelnose sturgeon and their roe (eggs sold as caviar). Because of the close resemblance in appearance between the shovelnose and pallid sturgeon, fishermen, State regulators, and law enforcement personnel have substantial difficulty in differentiating between the two species and their roe. This similarity of appearance has resulted in the documented take of pallid sturgeon and is a threat to the species. The determination that the shovelnose sturgeon should be treated as threatened due to similarity of appearance will substantially facilitate law enforcement actions to protect and conserve pallid sturgeon.’ (http://www.fws.gov/mountain- prairie/missouririver/moriver_pallidsturgeon.htm)

The proposed listing may give our partners in the field better results on their mark-recapture data. With commercial fishing prohibited in designated areas where pallid and shovelnose habitat overlap, it will be interesting to see how the juveniles that we stock respond in the absence of fishing pressure. It will take up to 12 months for Fish and Wildlife Service to make a final determination on the proposed listing.

Follow the link below to read more about this topic. http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/endangered/fishes/shovelnose.html

http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/endangered/fishes/shovelnose.html Examples of educational phot os that compare the two
http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/endangered/fishes/shovelnose.html Examples of educational phot os that compare the two

Examples of educational photos that compare the two species side by side to help educate the public on the difference between pallid and shovelnose sturgeon.(Left:

Missouri Department of Conservation photo, Bottom:

FWS photo)

difference between pallid and shovelnose sturgeon.(Left: Missouri Department of Conservation photo, Bottom: FWS photo) 2

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difference between pallid and shovelnose sturgeon.(Left: Missouri Department of Conservation photo, Bottom: FWS photo) 2
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

February-April 2010

Training

Assistant Manager Roderick May visited National Conservation Training Center to coordinate the Fisheries Academy course.

Biologist Melissa Cheung attended the two-week long course Fisheries Academy at NCTC.

Manager David Hendrix and Assistant Manager Rod May braved cold winter conditions, abnormally high amounts of snow, and dicey road conditions to attend the Climate Change training at NCTC.

Hatchery Manager David Hendrix drove to Mississippi to participate in training regarding Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs).

Lead Biologist Jaime Pacheco drove through sleet and snow to catch his flight to NCTC. He attended the week-long Stream Habitat Measurement course.

Sturgeon Broodstock Show Weight Increase Over Time

course. Sturgeon Broodstock Show We ight Increase Over Time Of the fifteen adult pallids that we

Of the fifteen adult pallids that we currently have on station, we acquired five during the fall and winter of 2008. Janice Bryan from USGS’s Columbia office used ultrasound and endoscopy technology to determine that these five fish would soon be capable of spawning. Since then, the fish have been quarantined, fed rainbow trout fingerlings, and monitored, in the hopes that some of them might be ready for this year’s spawning season.

Apparently they were listening because all four of the females are now reproductive and gravid (carrying developed eggs). Two of them have almost doubled their weight. The third female has more than doubled her weight. And the fourth female, one of our smallest fish, started out just over 5 pounds and is now 7.25 pounds. The fifth sturgeon, a male, has doubled his weight as well. These pallids have been on station the longest, but the newer arrivals are not too far behind in weight gain. Although some may call it boring, their strict diet of rainbow trout fingerlings certainly seems to satiate their appetite.

fingerlings certainly seems to satiate their appetite. Let the Sturgeon Tagging Begin! At the end of

Let the Sturgeon Tagging Begin!

At the end of February, we began our first tagging session. Focusing on the juveniles we had on station the

session. Focusing on the juveniles we had on station the longest, we PIT tagged and removed

longest, we PIT tagged and removed the 5 th left scute on 3,149 fish. With the help of eleven people from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation’s Blind Pony State Fish Hatchery and Chillicothe Field Station, we completed the effort in one day.

Left Photo: MDC staff from Blind Pony SFH PIT tag sturgeon juveniles.

Station, we completed the effort in one day. Left Photo: MDC staff from Blind P ony

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Station, we completed the effort in one day. Left Photo: MDC staff from Blind P ony
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

February-April 2010

To the Missouri River They Go

Tagged, 11 month old sturgeon juveniles have been stocked into 5 different sites thus far: Herman, Weldon Spring, Portland and Lexington, all stocking points on the Missouri River in Missouri, and Atchison, Kansas. With just over 1000 young of the year left to stock, we will put the rest of the fish into the last two stocking sites: Nebraska City and Ponca State Park. Since this is our busy time of the year, we are already ready to start spawning our

of the year, we are already ready to start spawning our pallid broodstock and have tanks
of the year, we are already ready to start spawning our pallid broodstock and have tanks

pallid broodstock and have tanks set- up for sturgeon eggs and fry.

Above Photo: MDC staff from Chillicothe, MO transfer fish from Neosho’s distribution unit onto their boat on the Missouri River. Left Photo: Michelle Dalbey of Blind Pony SFH loads juvenile sturgeon from Neosho NFH onto her distribution unit for stocking.

Time to Say Goodbye

March has been the busiest by far in terms of sending 10 inch+ trout to Lake Taneycomo. With eleven trips in the books for this month, we have shipped 42,635 fish, or 19,983 pounds of trout. Twenty-six thousand of those grew to size in our earthen ponds. Kept back a month due to bad winter weather, these fish were over 11 inches on average.

winter weather, these fish were over 11 inches on average. Meetings Project Engineer Carol Fix and

Meetings

Project Engineer Carol Fix and Contracting Officer Elaine DeGroot and Crossland Construction attended the monthly progress meeting on construction of the visitor center. Problems, timetables and perimeter fencing were among the topics of discussion.

David Rauch, Senior Staff Representative for Senator Claire McCaskill visited the hatchery on April 28 th to tour the visitor center. He previously attended the ground- breaking ceremony for the visitor center on July 1 st of last year.

center. He previously attended the ground- breaking ceremony for the visitor center on July 1 s

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center. He previously attended the ground- breaking ceremony for the visitor center on July 1 s
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service February-April 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

February-April 2010

April 18 th , Open House at Neosho

Blessed with great weather and a steady, continuous flow of pedestrian traffic, we were kept very busy at this year’s open house. As usual we had a mélange of educational booths:

George Washington Carver National Monument’s educational booth, a rock specialist, a snake specialist, the Southern Missouri beekeepers club, the master gardeners club and of course Missouri Department of Conservation’s tree giveaway booth. The state had hundreds of young pine, redbud and white flowering

had hundreds of young pine, redbud and white flowering dogwood trees free for the public. Hatchery
had hundreds of young pine, redbud and white flowering dogwood trees free for the public. Hatchery

dogwood trees free for the public. Hatchery staff served the public lunch. Friends of the Fish Hatchery group members and volunteers contributed baked goods and their time to ensure that the day went smoothly.

Above Photo: Frank Martinez educates about venomous snakes and brought a couple lively examples. Right Photo: Neosho staff serves lunch and refreshments to the public.

National Fisheries Friends Partnership

The annual meeting for the National Fisheries Friends Partnership was held in Alrington, VA from April 20-22. Hatchery Manager David Hendrix and Jerry Christian, President of the Friends of Neosho National Fish Hatchery, attended the week-long meeting. Future friends group initiatives were discussed and networking with friends groups from across the US was made possible.

Unless otherwise stated, articles are written and assembled by Melissa Cheung.

Interested in learning more about what we do? Visit our blog at www.NeoshoNFH.blogspot.com 520 E Park Street, Neosho, MO 64850

417-451-0554

about what we do? Visit our blog at www.NeoshoNFH.blogspot.com 520 E Park Street, Neosho, MO 64850

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about what we do? Visit our blog at www.NeoshoNFH.blogspot.com 520 E Park Street, Neosho, MO 64850