Maybe you know that trout fishing is big in Missouri, but did you also know that trout is not native to the state? Rather, Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is the largest of five fish hatcheries in Missouri. It releases 400,000 pounds (about 800,000 12-inch fish) of trout each year into Lake Taneycomo.
You can learn more than you probably ever wanted to know about trout at the hatchery’s Conservation Center. After close-up views of the real things in the indoor aquarium, you’ll watch a 12-minute video describing how trout are spawned and raised. I was amazed to learn that spawning is very time intensive and hands-on, with eggs and sperm expelled manually and then fertilized in vats. After 15 months of care and feeding, the trout is ready to be released. 70% of the trout are caught within two months. That hardly seems like sport!
After the film you’ll wander outside to the fish tanks. For a quarter you can feed them. And on weekdays in summer, you can learn even more about trout by joining free guided tours.