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An outstretched hand holding a dozen tiny bright orange eggs above a bin of thousands more.
Information icon Rainbow trout eggs. Photo by USFWS.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I purchase a fishing license?

To review Georgia fishing regulations and to purchase a license, please contact the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not issue fishing licenses.

Can I go fish and camp nearby?

Yes! Fishing is allowed in Rock Creek, which runs through hatchery grounds. Individuals must bring their own fishing gear, bait, license and trout stamp, all of which can be purchased at local stores. Rock Creek Lake, located two miles north of the hatchery, also provides good fishing opportunities. Stocking season is from March through September each year. All Georgia sport fishing regulations apply.

Cooper Creek, 15 miles northwest of Suches, via Georgia highway 60 and Forest Service 236, is an angler’s paradise for trout fishing. Twenty-two miles northeast of Dahlonega on Georgia highway 180, Lake Winfield Scott offers magnificent scenery as well as swimming, fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.

Morganton Point, 6 miles east of Blue Ridge, on U.S. 76 and Forest Service Road 615 introduces the 3,290 acre Lake Blue Ridge which produces fine bass, bluegill and crappie fishing.

Although the hatchery does not maintain any camping facilities, the nearby Frank Gross Campground, maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, offers excellent facilities for both camping and picnicking. The Deep Hole Recreation Area, located just off Highway 60, offers camping, picnicking, swimming and fishing.

What kind of fish do you raise?

Rainbow and brook trout.

Where do you get the eggs to hatch the fish?

We get our eggs from the Erwin National Fish Hatchery in Erwin, Tennessee and Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Ennis, Montana.

How big are the fish when you stock them out?

Approximately nine inches.

How long does it take to get the fish from an egg to nine inches?

Approximately twelve to fourteen months.

Do you provide fish to private individuals?

No. All the fish raised at this facility are stocked in public waters.

Why do we need federal hatcheries and who pays for them?

Chattahoochee Forest is a national fish hatchery, which is supported by tax dollars. Fish raised in federal hatcheries are stocked in public waters to support federal fishery responsibilities mandated by law. Responsibilities include fish for restoration where, for example, man-made dams have altered a stream’s natural reproductive capability; or to restore populations of threatened, endangered and at-risk species. Fish are also used to support recreational fishing programs in federal and state waters.

Do you give tours of the hatchery?

Special tour group appointments can be scheduled by calling the hatchery office at (706) 838-4723. Two weeks advance notice is preferred so that we can carefully plan and make sure you get the most out of your special visit. You are invited to return as often as you like.


Kelly Taylor, Project Leader, (706) 838-4723

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