The Mount Ayr Fish Hatchery is located one mile north of Mount Ayr and was established in 1941. The initial design consisted of five earthen diked ponds. Three additional ponds were added in 1961 increasing the total production area to a little over six acres. Historically the facility has raised channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegills, red ear sunfish, walleye, sauger, smallmouth bass, and hybrid striped bass. Recent production has been focused on hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, and bluegills.
Hybrid striped bass fry are grown into fingerlings from fry shipped to Mount Ayr during early May from other mid-west state’s hatcheries. The two inch long fingerlings are then stocked into southwest and south central Iowa lakes. Largemouth bass and bluegill production is achieved through natural reproduction then stocked in the fall.
The Fish Management biologist, technician, and seasonal employees operate the facility as well as manage the public fishing lakes in an eight county area. They are assisted by other Fish Management offices and staff from the Rathbun fish Hatchery.