RD Corner: Snow Melt
I was pleased to join Director Dan Ashe in his recent visit to the Midwest as he had the opportunity to tour and meet staff at Neosho National Fish Hatchery (NFH) in southwest Missouri. Established in 1888, it is the nation’s oldest operational federal fish hatchery.
The hatchery raises endangered pallid sturgeon for recovery efforts in the lower Missouri River and also supports conservation of the endangered Ozark cavefish and restoration of native mussels. Its 9,200 sq. ft. visitor center accommodates more than 100,000 visitors per year, enhances environmental education and interpretation opportunities, and generates economic benefits for Newton County and surrounding areas. The visitor center is an energy-efficient, LEED-certified facility and features solar panels. The relatively newly built construction enhances community education about aquatic resources and generates local economic benefits in the form of enhanced tourism revenues and associated employment opportunities in southwestern Missouri.
With April in front of us on the calendar, the snow and ice are melting and will soon be gone. Before the spring weather takes hold, however, I encourage you to take advantage now of opportunities to get out onto our northern frozen lakes to enjoy the last few days of ice fishing. Remember to be safe…many of our areas offer public fishing opportunities such as the recent event at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge that you will see here.
Also, the end of March is the advent of early arrivals of migratory birds. I’m looking forward to seeing some of these early migrants arrive in the Midwest. Hopefully they will find that the area is losing a little bit of the white and cold that we've had for so long this winter and turning towards a spring that is conducive to their return. One good sign: this month Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex, has seen one of its largest concentrations of spring migrants in some time. Take a look at the article on migration here.
And last but not least, hopefully you've already seen the announcement we put out several weeks ago that our region received an award for Scientific Excellence. I would like to extend my personal congratulations to Dr. Lisa Williams who received the award in recognition of her dedicated work. You can read more about Dr. Williams and her work here.
Navigating Inside Region 3
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