For Immediate Release
May 24, 1999

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404/679-7291
Kyla Hastie
912/265-9336 ext.22

CHATTAHOOCHEE FOREST NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY TO HOST
YOUTH, SENIOR FISHING EVENTS

Children and senior citizens are invited to participate in free fishing events sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the 1999 National Fishing Week, June 5-13. The 11th Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo will be held Saturday, June 5 at the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery near Suches, Georgia. The hatchery will also be the location of the 7th Annual Senior Citizens Fishing Rodeo on Friday, June 11.

"People that understand and use aquatic resources are more likely to take good care of our lakes, rivers and streams," said the Service's Southeast Regional Director Sam D. Hamilton. "The Service has a responsibility to educate fishers of all ages, and to encourage conservation and use of our fisheries. National Fishing Week gives us the opportunity to do that."

During National Fishing Week, more than 2,000 family fishing events are held across the United States. Every year, more than 500,000 people participate in fishing related activities.

The Youth Fishing Rodeo, which begins at 9 a.m. on June 5 is open to children ages 16 and under. More than 3,000 rainbow trout will be stocked into Rock Creek for this special event. A random drawing will be held for prizes such as t-shirts, tackle boxes and fishing rods. More than 400 children and 300 adults are expected to attend this year's fishing event.

The Senior Citizens Fishing Rodeo will be held June 11 and is open to seniors ages 55 and over. Over 200 seniors are expected to fish for the more than 2,500 rainbow trout which will be stocked into Rock Creek. A random drawing will determine who gets to take home the prizes donated by local area businesses.

The Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest. From Gainesville, participants can take Georgia Highway 60 north to Rock Creek Road, then proceed five miles down Rock Creek Road to the hatchery.

To obtain registration information, the public can contact the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery at (706) 838-4723.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprising more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. In Georgia, this includes Okefenokee, Piedmont and Savannah coastal refuges. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.

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Release #: R99-042


1999 News Releases

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