We visited the Roaring River Spring and Hatchery today, it is one of the most beautiful springs we have seen. The state of Missouri has certainly been blessed with an abundance of springs as there are more than twenty-nine hundred officially recorded. The Missouri Department of Conservation's five trout hatcheries have taken advantage of this resource in a big way. Out of these five hatcheries, four use spring water to raise rainbow trout. Together these five hatcheries produce more than 2.5 million trout per year.
Roaring River Spring emerges in a valley wall of Roaring River Hollow at the base of a massive cliff of Cotter Limestone. It is the largest spring in the White River basin with an annual average daily flow of 20.4 million gallons per day. The spring is the 20th largest in Missouri and the water is a constant 57°. The highest ever recorded flow was 144 million gallons per day and the lowest ever recorded was 4.8 million gallons per day. The spring follows a fault line that trends to the north with a displacement of about two feet. This fault is easily visible to someone standing in front of the bluff from which the spring emerges as it continues upward for about 90 feet. Adding to the beauty is another smaller spring perched at the top of this fault.
The water is beautiful blue color and is crystal clear, absolutely breathtaking. We also toured the fish hatchery, Jerry bought some fish food from one of the machines for 25 cents and enjoyed feeding the fish and watching them jump out of the water. Now we understand why Roaring River is so full of trout, they stock the river almost daily. What a great place to practice fly fishing, I may get a license myself. :-)
Check back later for more from Missouri.