Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fish Story

Neosho National Fish Hatchery hosts Grand Opening

NEOSHO, MO - A large crowd gathered to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the visitor's center at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery in the Spring and in fewer than 10 months later (by December 2010) a similar crowd gathered to celebrate an open house and ribbon cutting. Crossland was the General Contractor. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud of its state-of-the-art visitor center. The architectural style of the facility commemorates the beginnings of the National Fish Hatchery Program, the oldest operational Federal fish hatchery in the country. The facility is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council LEED program and includes solar panels, energy efficient building systems, geothermal wells, and is built with environmentally friendly, natural materials including fiber cement siding, wood framing, metal roof, stained concrete and marmoleum flooring. The center is expected to generate local economic benefits in the form of enhanced tourism revenues and associated employment opportunities in southwestern Missouri.

The Neosho National Fish Hatchery celebrated the grand opening of its new visitor center on December 9, 2010. Hundreds of people turned out to tour the facility, and to hear remarks from Missouri Senator-elect Roy Blunt. The facility is 9,500 square-feet and includes a conference room and a 2,500-gallon aquarium featuring species of fish that the hatchery works with such as channel catfish, pallid sturgeon, largemouth bass and rainbow trout. The hatchery was established in 1888 and is the oldest operating federal fish hatchery, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The hatchery raises endangered pallid sturgeon for recovery efforts in the lower Missouri River and rainbow trout for stocking in Lake Taneycomo. The hatchery also supports conservation of the endangered Ozark cavefish and restoration of native mussels.
Hatchery director David Hendrix said the new look of the center is a nod to the building’s look during the 1950s, incorporating features such as an onion-shaped dome. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful building,” he said.

The Neosho National Fish Hatchery is expected to accommodate more than 100,000 visitors per year, enhance environmental education and interpretation opportunities, and generate economic benefits for Newton County and surrounding areas, according to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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