Lost Valley Fish Hatchery

Driving Directions

From Warsaw at the Highway 65 Truman Dam exit, take Lost Valley Road east 0.75 mile.


The area is mostly old fields with some forest. Facilities/features: hatchery, visitor center, numerous fishless ponds, and permanent stream (Sterret Creek).

About This Area

The Lost Valley Fish Hatchery is the largest state owned, warm water hatchery in Missouri and one of the largest in the nation. It is located east of Highway 65 on Lost Valley Road, northeast of Warsaw.

The hatchery building houses a 2,000 square foot visitor center, where visitors can learn more about warm water fish culture, fishing, and the Missouri Department of Conservation's role in aquatic resource management. Visitors may view the hatchery production room from two large windows inside the visitor center. The center is open year-round and admission is free. The facility also contains 77 rearing ponds totaling 68.3 acres, as well as a 10-acre ambient temperature pond.

Lost Valley Hatchery rears a variety of fish species including walleye, muskellunge, channel catfish, largemouth bass, striped and hybrid bass, bluegill and hybrid sunfish. Fish raised at the hatchery are used to stock public and private waters throughout Missouri. The facility is being used to research propagation methods for endangered fish, as well as for native freshwater mussels.

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, which places a federal excise tax on such items as boat motors, fishing tackle, and boat fuel. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributes these funds among the states according to the number of fishing permits sold and the amount of land and water. These funds are approved for projects that augment sport fish restoration. To that end, Lost Valley Hatchery is the largest project funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Act in the nation.

The Lost Valley Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center is situated on 969 acres in the Leigh Flats area east of Truman Lake. Visitors walking through the hatchery grounds can experience a variety of natural settings from prairie areas to Missouri glades. A section of Sterett Creek runs through this valley. It supports native fish, as well as aquatic invertebrates like crayfish, mayflies and dragonflies.

The hatchery grounds support a diversity of plant life. There are plentiful cedar stands with mixed hardwoods in a forested section where plants like fragrant sumac, violets and star grass are plentiful. Two natural glades are home to native wildflowers, including purple coneflower, Indian paintbrush, fringed puccoon, prickly pear cactus, and feverfew.

Wildlife is frequently seen on the area. The glades are prime locations to see tarantulas, lizards, and scorpions. Uncut timber provides ideal habitat for white-tailed deer and turkey, and even bobcats. Bird species are plentiful, including eastern bluebirds and indigo buntings. Great blue herons, green herons, and belted kingfishers are also frequently seen. Winter bird visitors include bald eagles and gulls. Waterfowl use both the detention ponds on the hatchery grounds and a wetland area created from a borrow pit.

General Information

Kansas City



Owned by MDC

  • Firearms firing single projectiles prohibited.
  • Open to hunting east of Hatchery Ave. only.
  • Special regulations apply

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Exhibits/Displays  The hatchery features exhibits and displays focusing on aquatic themes in Missouri. 
Fishing - Other Good population. Kids fishing pond is regularly stocked with channel catfish, sunfish, and other bonus species as available. 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Only east of access road. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Firearms firing single projectiles are prohibited  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Firearms firing single projectiles are prohibited  
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Tours  Group tours of the hatchery are offered on a reservation basis.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Fish HatcheryaccessibleLost Valley Fish Hatchery  The Fish Production Room is shown to groups by reservation only and is ADA accessible.  
Other Scenic Overlook Pull-In  Scenic Overlook Pull-In  
Parking Lotaccessible   
Privy/RestroomaccessibleVisitor Center Restrooms   
Staffed Officeaccessible   
Visitor Centeraccessible  All exhibits and facilities are ADA accessible.  The Visitor Center is open year-round from Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  0.50 acres Pond available for kids fishing during visitor center hours. Tackle and bait available on-site if needed.  
Fishless Pond  1.00 acres Small fishless ponds on the area.  
Stream - Permanent Sterrett Creek 2.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 250.00  
Wetland 3.00  
Glade 15.00  
Old Field 701.11  
Total Area Acres:969.11 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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