Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is the largest trout-rearing hatchery in the country. It is also the most significant trout manufacturing hatchery in the Midwest. The beautiful location of the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery can be found in Taney County near the Table Rock Dam. The hatchery was created in 1957 and it is only in 1958 where fish made available in the facility. Each year the facility generates about one million trout with a total weight of 300,000 lbs. Eighty percent of the production of the fish hatchery goes to Lake Taneycomo and the other 20 percent goes to other Missouri trout-management areas.
The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery have already provided millions of tourists the opportunity to see the educational nature of the hatchery that promises future generations to learn the importance of fishing in Missouri. The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery also offers guided tours on weekdays with time schedules at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm. The fish hatchery features a pavilion, 50-seat auditorium, picnic tables, and wildlife-viewing blind and tower. The hatchery has displays of exhibits at the staffed visitor center. It also features a beautiful hiking trails of about 3 miles through forests and glades.
Rainbow and brown trout are the common species that are hatched in the fish hatchery. Brown trout is a sleek fish with small scales and soft-rayed fins. The dorsal fin of the brown trout is in round black spots with small orange or red spots surrounded by a lighter halo. As early as 1883, the brown trout that originated from Europe and the British Isles was introduced into the country. There were a total of 200,000 brown trout that were introduced in Missouri from 1927 to 1933. In 1960, stock efforts were made in the Current and North Fork rivers that expanded to other Ozark streams and Lake Taneycomo.
The output of brown and rainbow trout are the principal fish provided by the hatchery to supply the needs of the Conservation Departments. The department takes a crucial role in providing eggs and fingerlings for grow-outs at various conservation facilities. The fish hatchery has an area of more than 200 acres. The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery receives about 250,000 visitors every year and gives a variety of facts and educational information about the hatchery to the general public.
The main water source at the fish hatching facility comes from Table Rock Lake. The water that comes from the lake is supplied to the facility by way of the law of gravity. The fish hatching facility features a bottle type incubation devices as well as fiberglass along with aluminum tanks. The hatching facility uses a dozen exterior concrete channels for intermediate raising, and uses thirty cement channels for end raising.
If you are planning to take a wonderful vacation to learn more facts and educational information about raising fish in the hatching facility, come to the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson.
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