Missouri hatchery still open to anglers during renovation

2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 6:19:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

CASSVILLE (AP) — A $1.9 million renovation of a southwestern Missouri trout hatchery won't interfere with the tens of thousands of anglers who fish in the stream, according to state officials.

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently began the nine-month renovation project on the Roaring River Hatchery near Cassville, the Springfield News-Leader reported. The project will replace corroded aluminum flood gates and change how the hatchery takes in water from the Roaring River spring, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

Hatchery Manager Paul Spurgeon said trout anglers will still be able to fish Roaring River below the hatchery during the project.

"They might notice a little discoloration in the water as we make our improvements and work on the spring pool, but they'll still be able to fish here," Spurgeon said.

The spring has been especially corrosive to the aluminum alloy flood control gates that were installed during the last renovation in 2005.

The hatchery's cool spring water raises hundreds of thousands of trout each year. The trout that were being raised in the concrete hatchery pens will be moved to other hatcheries under the state department's control. The pens will then be drained for construction crews.

The hatchery's new stainless steel gates are designed to direct the water away from hatchery ponds during flooding and into the Roaring River.

Spurgeon said that the project will also implement a "traveling screen" that automatically filters debris out of the water before it reaches the hatchery pens.

"Clean, debris-free water is vital to the raising of fish," Spurgeon added. "The new technology of a traveling screen will save many hours of labor that occurs during flooding or harsh weather conditions."

The renovation is expected to be completed by June, he said.

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