Who We Are
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fisheries Program has played a vital role in conserving America's fisheries since 1871, partnering with states, tribes, federal agencies, other Service programs, and private interests in efforts to conserve fish and other aquatic resources. The Fisheries Program provides a broad network of on-the-ground expertise that is unique in its geographic coverage, its array of scientific capabilities, and its ability to work strategically across political and jurisdictional boundaries.
The 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 the Neosho National Fish Hatchery. 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 also 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 NFH 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 U.S. 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.
In our tribal partnership we have been providing rainbow trout stock to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation of North Carolina. This stocking has become even more critical since a flash flood in July 2011 occurred to their Tribal Hatchery and waterways, causing a loss of 435,000 trout.