Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson is considered to have the largest trout-rearing hatchery in the country. Located near the Table Rock Dam in Taney County, Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is one of the best vacation spots for families who want to gain knowledge about fish hatchery or have some fish feeding fun in the facility. The fish hatchery was created in 1957 and it first made the availability of fish at the facility in 1958.
The 200 acres facility of the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is capable of entertaining about a quarter of a million tourists every year. The hatchery features a pavilion and picnic tables, a 50-seat auditorium, and wildlife-viewing tower. Guided tours are also offered to visitors on weekdays with time schedules at 10AM, 11AM, 1PM, and 2PM. Inside the visitor center of the facility, you can find displays of exhibits that show interesting and historical facts about the fish hatchery.
The fish hatchery has the capacity of generating one million trout every year with a total weight of 300,000 lbs. Eighty percent of the hatchery production goes into Lake Taneycomo and other 20 percent to other Missouri trout-management facilities. The production of brown and rainbow trout in the hatchery is supplied to the Conservation Departments for its operations needs. The fish hatchery takes a crucial role in providing eggs and fingerlings for grow-outs at various facilities of the Conservation Departments.
Rainbow and brown trout are the original kinds of species hatched in the facility of the Shepherd of the Hills. As early as 1883, the brown trout that originated from Europe and the British Isles was introduced in Missouri. From 1927 to 1933, about 200,000 brown trout were introduced in the country. In 1960s, stocks efforts were made in the Current and North Folk rivers and expanded to other Ozark streams and to Lake Taneycomo. Brown trout has small scales and with soft-rayed fins. The dorsal fin of the brown trout features a round black spot with small orange or red spots surrounded by a lighter halo. Rainbow trout is very much the same as brown trout with a little difference in size of black spots and red spots or small orange.
The main source of water supply to the fish hatchery come from Table Rock Lake and is supplied by way of the law of gravity. The fish hatchery gives tourists the opportunity to learn the manufacturing processes of trout that promises future generations to know the importance of trout fishing in Missouri. The fish hatchery facility of the Shepherd of the Hills uses a bottle type incubation devices as well as fiberglass along with aluminum tanks. The facility also utilizes a dozen exterior concrete channels for intermediate raising and thirty cement channels for end and finished raising.
If you want to gain educational experience about brown and rainbow trout fishing production and some fun of fish feeding, visit the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson.
Return to the Branson Cabins Blog Home