One of the features of the Dam Quarry campground is right across the street is two fine places. First is the Dry Run Creek mobility impaired area. This is a charming little creek with small white water raid and lots of trout. The locals supporters have installed fancy ramps and docks to allow those who are mobility impaired to get into a perfect spot to do some trout fishing. The spot is obviously well appreciated because we saw several young men who were single and double amputees in wheelchairs and/or with prosthetics. I found that consideration heart warming especially since many of the young men were obviously veterans who had lost their limbs defending us. It was a fine thank you for your service.
The fish hatchery is open to the public and well worth the visit. They take water from the Dry Run creek at one end and dump it back in the creek so the fish have continuous fresh water as they grow in long runways full of fast moving water. They are about 10 inches or so when they are released. Overhead huge nets are hung to keep the herons from getting in and stuffing themselves. One of the staff told us the nets don’t always work and the herons sometimes get in anyway.
Inside the hatchery building are tiny little fingerlings (which are actually much smaller than fingers) of various sizes. Plus in one room were special hatching tanks for eggs. The hatchery produced three kinds of trout, brown, cut throut and rainbow. To me it all sounds delicious but were we warned that the fish are fed ground salmon pellets and so they taste like salmon when first released. If you want good tasting trout you have to get the fish that are longer than 10 inches and that have been eating wild food for a few weeks. Perhaps that’s why they so strongly encourage catch and release. With that curiosity stop satisfied we started our trip to our next stop, Cobb Ridge Recreation Area in the Mark Twain National Forest via a trip through the Ozarks and a ride on the last public ferry in Arkansas.