Hunnewell Lake Conservation Area covers 1,905 acres and includes a 228-acre lake, and a fish hatchery.
Construction of Hunnewell Lake began in 1952, shortly after the land was purchased by the Conservation Department. The lake was opened for fishing in 1956 and hatchery construction began in 1958. Fish production began the following year.
Today, the hatchery raises a variety of fish including channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish, walleye, and hybrid sunfish for stocking in Missouri ponds and lakes. Total production is about 700,000 fish per year from 16.4 acres of hatchery ponds. Hunnewell Lake provides the water supply for the hatchery.
The land that is now Hunnewell Lake Conservation Area was originally a tall-grass prairie, sustained by rich glaciated soils. After settlement, the original prairie was gradually replaced by cultivated fields or planted to hay crops, such as fescue.
Today, some remnant stands of prairie grasses remain on the area, but no true prairie exists. Cultivation of some fields continues. Other fields are managed to encourage the growth of prairie grasses and other native plants.
The landscape is broken up by small wooded drainages which contain mostly pin oaks and locust trees. On the south side of the lake is a unique stand of old-growth white oak forest.