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4/21/21 MDC announces changes at Lost Valley Fish Hatchery Visitor Center

Mission of serving the outdoor community and Warsaw area will continue

Warsaw, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is altering the Lost Valley Fish Hatchery Visitor Center to better serve the public and to broaden outreach programs in the area. These changes will not affect production of freshwater fish at the hatchery, which provides species such as walleye and channel catfish to stock in the state’s lakes and ponds.

MDC will repurpose the visitor center exhibit area for outdoor education classes to the public. For example, staff often hold classes to teach newcomers the basics of fishing and hunting or about nature in Missouri. The space will also be used as a meeting room for staff and conservation-centered groups and organizations.

“Serving our communities and connecting people to nature is the very heart of our conservation work,” said MDC Deputy Director Aaron Jeffries. “We’re always evaluating ways we can continue to do that better, including if we need to make changes along the way to reach more Missourians with our programs and services.”

The youth fishing pond at Lost Valley will remain as an outdoor classroom for teaching angling skills or for hosting special events, such as a youth fishing day. The pond will no longer be open for daily public youth fishing after May 1. It will be closed on May 2 and going forward will only be used for education or special events. The Lost Valley building will no longer serve as a visitor center, permit sales, or retail nature shop.

These changes will free the MDC community education assistant based at Lost Valley to conduct conservation programs in Warsaw and surrounding communities. Examples of those programs include Discover Nature Schools, Discover Nature—Fishing, and Discover Nature Outdoor Skills. Flexibility in scheduling education classes or special programs will improve MDC’s ability to serve the Warsaw community and help people enjoy nature. The facility has been closed since last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain closed as the changes are effective immediately.

Lost Valley’s fish hatchery operations will continue as normal. Besides sport fish popular with anglers, the hatchery staff produces lake sturgeon to restore the species to the state’s big rivers, and restoration of the endangered Topeka shiners.

The hatchery is at the forefront of 969 acres with glades, native warm-season grasslands, and forest or woodlands. Small game, turkey, and deer hunting is allowed on the east of the entrance road and south of Lost Valley Road. Area users should review signage, boundaries, and regulations.

For more information about the Lost Valley Fish Hatchery, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZqL.

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