Hatchery project completed
Raceways stocked for upcoming year
It took almost 18 months longer than expected, but the Roaring River Hatchery spring project is done and the spring and hatchery area are open for business.
Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager, said the $1.9 million project is down to just punch list items and minor finishing touches.
“We took ownership back in mid-November,” he said. “Everything is working good. Our water flow is good and the hatchery building is full with 180,000 fish we are hatching out.”
While fish are now being bred again at the park for the first time since 2018, it will still be another year before the Hatchery can stock from within again.
“We are filling the lower six raceways, and we are getting deliveries of about 3,000-5,000 fish from Montauk State Park,” Spurgeon said. “We will still have fish being shipped in until 2022 because we hatch on a two-year cycle. We have the small ones in the raceways to put weight on them, and after those first six pools are full, we will fill the other lower pools with everything we will use for 2021.”
The Hatchery is also getting some fish from Crystal Lake, including some yellow-colored trout not commonly seen at the park.
Outside of fish themselves, Hatchery staff, who are employees of the Missouri Department of Conservation, have also been working in areas around the river.
“We are working on our signs in the park, and we’ve done stream work again, cleaning out gravel and such,” Spurgeon said. “Barring another flood, we will be in good shape for the 2021 season.
“We are open for business. We’ve had a few visitors already, and people are welcome to come out and wander around feely again.”