The Rathbun Fish Hatchery – Moravia, Iowa
This hatchery is located in Appanoose County about seven miles north of Centerville, Iowa. The hatchery is situated on 375 acres of land directly below the Rathbun Reservoir Dam. The facility complex includes a 5,000-squre foot hatchery/office building, 20 outside concrete rearing ponds, 40 indoor rearing tanks, pollution control ponds and three employee residences. Visitor-related facilities include an information center, an elevated observation walkway through the hatchery building and aquariums. Also located on the hatchery grounds is a mile-long nature trail.
The Rathbun Fish Hatchery is an intensive warm water fish hatchery. That is, the species of fish propagated here grow best in water temperatures between 50 and 90 °F. Channel catfish is the primary fish species raised at the hatchery; however, other species include walleye, saugeye, and largemouth bass and are used statewide. Brood stock channel catfish are maintained at this facility and annually provide more than 1 million fry for use across the state. Brood stock walleye are annually collected in April from Lake Rathbun from gill nets. These fish are taken back to the hatchery where they are spawned and are then returned to the lake. The facility has the ability to raise a number of species to large fingerlings for use in a number of fishery management and research applications.
Fish produced at this facility are stocked statewide in Iowa farm ponds, rivers and more than 250 lakes and reservoirs. Annually, more than 200,000 large fingerling catfish, 100,000 small fingerling catfish, 50 million walleye fry, 150,000 walleye fingerlings and 22,000 largemouth bass fingerlings are produced at Rathbun. In addition, more than 75,000 four- to six-inch catfish are provided for county conservation boards and cities each year for their caged-catfish rearing programs.
Hours: Open year-round Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Location: 15053 Hatchery Place, Moravia, Iowa