Neosho National Fish Hatchery Conserving the nature of America

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Conserving the Nature of America

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Neosho National Fish Hatchery Visitor Center
Neosho National Fish Hatchery Visitor Center. Photo by USFWS.

Who We Are

Neosho National Fish Hatchery is the oldest operating federal fish hatchery in the United States. Established in 1888, the hatchery is located in the Ozark Mountain Region of southwest Missouri. It is one of 70 hatcheries operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a mission to conserve and protect our nation’s fishery resources.

How We Help

Over the years more than 130 different species of fish have been raised at Neosho. Today the hatchery rears primarily rainbow trout, pallid sturgeon and Topeka shiners. Sound science is used to efficiently produce quality rainbow trout for fishing in modified habitats contributing to healthy economies. The hatchery enhances recreational fishing opportunities through the stocking of rainbow trout into Branson’s Lake Taneycomo, providing an enormous boost to the local economy. The high quality and efficient rainbow trout production at Neosho is just one aspect of our fish production that creates a positive ripple effect for all Americans. As many as 15,000 pallid sturgeons are reared onsite annually for release into the Missouri River as a continuous effort to offset the endangered status of this species.

Tribal Trust Responsibilities

Conserving United States fish and other aquatic resources cannot be successful without the partnership of tribes. They manage or influence some of the most important aquatic habitats both on and off reservations. In addition, the federal government and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have distinct and unique obligations toward tribes based on trust responsibility, treaty provisions and statutory mandates.

We have provided rainbow trout stock to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation of North Carolina. This stocking was critical as a flash flood in July 2011 occurred at their Tribal Hatchery and nearby waterways, causing a loss of 435,000 trout. Other tribal hatcheries in Iowa and New Mexico have received our fish as well. Our latest efforts include building partnerships with the Peoria Tribe in Miami, Oklahoma.