New Bennett Spring Hatchery manager familiar with trout

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LEBANON, Mo. – Ben Havens has a new title in a profession he's very familiar with.

On Oct. 16, Havens began his new job as manager of the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery. He replaces Mike Mitchell, who was promoted to Fisheries Administrative Manager at MDC's Central Office in Jefferson City.

Assuming the job of hatchery manager at Bennett Spring gives Havens the unique accomplishment of having worked at the MDC hatcheries of all four Missouri trout parks. He began his nearly 14-year career with MDC with a three-year stint at Roaring River Hatchery. After that, he was assistant manager at Montauk Hatchery and then assistant manager at Maramec Spring Hatchery for the last five years.

"I've always been interested in fish, fishing and the outdoors," the Sullivan, Ill. native said. "I love raising trout and being able to see them grow from egg to stocker size. It's a great feeling getting to see the joy and excitement people experience when you see them catch a fish that you helped produce."

At Bennett Spring, Havens will manage a hatchery operation that produces approximately 360,000 trout annually. The bulk of those fish go into the waters at Bennett Spring, but some are shipped to other trout areas around the state. MDC operates the hatchery and manages fishing operations at Bennett Spring; Missouri Department of Natural Resources manages the state park.

Statewide, trout-fishing pumps millions of dollars into Missouri's economy each year and is another example of how conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life.

More information about trout fishing at Bennett Spring can be obtained by calling the hatchery at 417-532-4418 or going to