A Fine Kettle Of Fish
the Sport Fish Restoration Act. The money is generated by a federal excise tax on fishing equipment, boats and motorboat fuel. The Sport Fish Restoration Act provides funds for hatcheries, as well as for fish stocking programs and public fishing access development.
"This is a good partnership that offers tremendous benefits to Missouri citizens," Eder said. "This project demonstrates the success of the Sport Fish Restoration Act. Plus, it's good to see some of our residents' federal tax dollars come home."
Covering 971 acres, the Lost Valley Fish Hatchery contains 78 aerated rearing ponds that encompass more than 68 acres. Fish production occurs in a 16,000-square-foot indoor production facility. A 2,000-square-foot visitor's center contains educational exhibits, as well as a 13,000-gallon aquarium stocked with some of the fish commonly found in Missouri. The aquarium also features examples of Missouri's various fish habitats.
Water for the hatchery comes from seven wells that plunge 1,125 feet and have the ability to provide 3,500 million gallons per minute. The water is pumped into two large water towers. The wells and the towers are all connected to a distribution system that moves water where needed through 15 miles of buried pipeline.
A 10-acre holding pond is used to recycle water and to provide ambient temperature water to the fish rearing units. This is one of the hatchery's many energy and water conservation features.
Along with its fish-rearing ponds, the hatchery also contains three pollution control ponds. Water is recycled as much as possible, said David Waller, Lost Valley Hatchery manager, but recycling eventually becomes impossible when excessive amounts of organic (fish) waste accumulates.
"We recycle about 75 percent of the water we pump out of the ground," Waller explained. "Any water that is not recyclable is diverted to the pollution control ponds, where the solids are allowed to settle out before the water is released into the watershed."
Finally, a computerized distribution system ensures that water arrives where it's supposed to go.
"The thing you don't want to have happen in a hatchery is for the water to stop running," Waller said. "The computerized system controls the flow and makes that part of the operation pretty much worry-free. If a problem does arise, the system will let us know us about it."
All of the hatchery ponds have durable polypropylene liners that not only reduce water loss, but also help maintain the good physical condition of fish fingerlings.
"Another thing the polypropylene liners do