Lost Valley Hatchery
The Lost Valley Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center is situated on 971 acres of land encompassing various habitats. There are 78 rearing ponds and a ten-acre ambient water pond totaling 78.3 acres of water. Construction began in 1997 as a project of the Missouri Department of Conservation. Seventy-five percent of the $19 million construction cost was funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Act, this act places an excise tax on the manufacturer of such items as boat motors, fishing tackle, and boat fuel. The moneys (administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) are then sent back to the states according to numbers of fishing permits sold and the amount of land and water. Such moneys are approved for projects furthering sport fish restoration and to date this is the largest project funded in the nation. Lost Valley Hatchery is the largest warmwater state-owned hatchery in Missouri and one of the ten largest in the nation.
The hatchery building houses a 2,000 square-foot visitor center. The center includes a 12,700 gallon aquarium. A variety of exhibits focusing on fishing and aquatic themes include an over-sized native Missouri mussel model, a model of hatchery water flow, how to legally measure fish, computer games, fishing line knot- tying, and many other demonstrations and displays. Also part of the visitors center is a nature gift shop for those wanting Conservation Department merchandise or looking for a nature oriented gift for someone else. Lost Valley sells Missouri hunting and fishing permits. Fishing for youth 15 years of age and younger is allowed in a pond on site during Visitor Center hours. Tackle and bait are available at the Visitors Center. There is no charge for fishing or the use of the equipment or bait.
Fish species being raised at the hatchery include walleye, muskellunge, channel catfish, largemouth bass, striped and hybrid striped bass, bluegill, and hybrid sunfish. The facility is being used to research propagation methods for endangered fish species as well as native fresh water mussels. The visitor may view the hatchery production room from two large windows inside the visitor center. A scenic pullout on the access road overlooks most of the rearing ponds and a portion of Truman Lake. Two glades exist on the area and an interpretive trail is being planned for the largest. A portion of the area is open to all statewide hunting seasons except that shotguns only may be used for small game hunting and deer hunting is restricted to archery methods only.
The Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, passed on August 9, 1950, created a program for management, conservation, and restoration of fishery resources. The Sport Fish Restoration program is funded by revenues collected from the manufacturers of fishing equipment, and boat and small engine fuel.
Visitor Center Hour
9am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday year round.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Lost Valley Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center is located east of Highway 65 at the Truman Dam access road on County Road 620 just northeast of Warsaw.