If you don't get to a fish hatchery very often, the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is a good stop off the beaten path of Branson, but still very close. There are a few attractions slightly away from the downtown areas and this is one of our favorite side visits and we try to visit the fish every few years.
It is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and is adjacent to the equally interesting Table Rock Dam. The hatchery is a well staffed, well organized location with a visitor center, hatchery film (20 minutes), and is adjacent to Lake Taneycomo and great picnic or fishing areas.
After the Visitor Center, go out and visit the fish. You will see some of the largest rainbow trout in the world and you can invest a whopping $,25 in one of several vending machines and feed the fish with pellets that will make them thrash for the privleage of meeting you. We like to visit all of the different tanks with the different fish sizes in various stages of development. It is almost as much fun watching the three and four years olds feeding the fish!
It was early evening (not yet sunset) when we were heading back the frontage road for the main highway when we drove up near some deer feeding. We stopped a few minutes and enjoyed watching them as they enjoyed the grass and watched us. It is kind of a nice diversion to get away from the hustle and bustle of the shows and motels in Branson and visit some of the natural side of life on the outskirts of Branson. Nearby, keep in mind the Branson Family Fun Factory (separate review) and the Table Rock Dam.
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