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Visit the Chattahoochee National Forest Fish Hatchery

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The primary responsibility of Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery is to raise rainbow trout. Fun activities include fishing, camping, educational programs and more.
General Information
Chattahoochee National Forest Fish Hatchery MapHatchery visiting hours: Monday-Friday - 8 am to 3 pm. Exceptions such as emergencies, federal holidays or early dismissals may apply. Please call ahead before visiting this rish hatchery. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD.

Over a century ago, it was recognized that conservation measures were necessary to maintain good fishing in our public waters.

Fishing has probably always been one of America’s leading forms of outdoor recreation. The primary responsibility of Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery is to raise rainbow trout which will help preserve this tradition for present as well as future generations of Americans.

Activity Highlights
BulletThe hatchery annually distributed 324,000 catchable-size rainbow trout and an additional 460,000 fingerlings to meet mitigation goals. These fish provided 160,000 anglers with an opportunity to land a trout.

BulletThe economic impact of the hatchery is over $32 million annually. That's well over $100 return on every budget dollar spent by the hatchery.

BulletApproximately 38,000 visitors tour the hatchery annually. Major fishing events are held annually to promote recreational fishing and to introduce the public to the Fish and Wildlife Service and its mission.

BulletAn extensive outreach program has been implemented that promotes public use, recreational fishing, environmental education and program activities. The hatchery has a very active Friends Group and a tremendous volunteer organization.

BulletFingerling trout and technical assistance are provided to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.

Geographic Area Covered is Georgia and Cherokee, North Carolina.

Special tour groups can be prearranged with the Hatchery Manager. Call the hatchery office at 706-838-4723 to make an appointment. You are invited to return often.

Restrooms are provided for your convenience.
Chattahoochee Forest  Fish Hatchery Education Program
Station Goals
BulletFulfilling mitigation responsibilities and providing recreational fishing opportunities for Federal water development projects via a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Georgia.

BulletFulfilling Tribal Trust responsibilities by providing technical assistance and rainbow trout to Native American Tribes.

BulletPartnering with federal and state agencies and conservation groups to study and monitor the status of aquatic populations and to improve aquatic habitat of rare fishes as well as other aquatic species in TN, AL, GA, KY and NC.

BulletProviding recreational fishing opportunities on Service lands.

BulletAssisting in the recovery of threatened and imperiled fish.

BulletDeveloping and implementing conservation education programs.
Fishing and Camping
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. Twentytwo 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 visitory to 3,290 acre Lake Blue Ridge which produces fine bass, bluegill and crappie fishing.

Camping is available in surrounding areas. Although the hatchery does not maintain any camping facilities, the near-by 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.
More Activities
Sheltered Exhibit
At the kiosk, read information pertaining to the National Fish Hatchery System, the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Informational signs help you understand the hatchery and its operation.

Environmental Education Center
The Center is designed for use by school groups. It contains a wet and dry lab, and a video viewing room. It is designed to educate students about the Southern Appalachian Ecosystem.
The center is open to groups by appointment only, not open to the general public.

Public Use Opportunities
The hatchery provides environmental education and public outreach opportunities to visitors, school groups, and various other organizations.The environmental education program is designed to promote conservation ethics and to develop a greater outreach for recreational fishing opportunities.

The beautiful surroundings and natural environment draw many visitors to the hatchery. A visitor kiosk and an opportunity to view the fish in various stages of production prove to be a great attraction. Rock Creek, which runs through hatchery property, provides a great trout fishing opportunity.

U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are located above and below the hatchery.

Incubator and Juvenile Fish Rearing Area - (Restricted to Personnel Only)
This is the incubator and juvenile fish rearing area. When the station receives eggs (generally twice a year: October and February), they are placed in hatching jars and stored in protected areas.

Spawning operations are not conducted at this particular hatchery. However, some Federal Hatcheries hold adult trout (broodstock) which are spawned artificially when the fish become “ripe.”

Eggs are taken from the females and fertilized with milt from the males. The fertilized eggs are then shipped here and incubated under controlled conditions.
What We Do
Constructed in 1937 by the U.S. Forest Service, the Chattahoochee Forest Hatchery remained under their authority for 23 years. On April 13, 1960, a cooperative agreement was signed which transferred ownership to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Station facilities are currently used to produce one million trout each year. These fish are stocked into tailwaters, streams and lakes of Northern Georgia in cooperation with the GA Department of Natural Resources, Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Forest Service.

Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery is located off Georgia Hwy 60 in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia just outside the small, rural town of Suches.

The hatchery is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with other National Fish Hatcheries across the Southeast.

What can you do?
Visitors are welcome to tour the hatchery’s outdoor attractions, to fish in Rock Creek which runs through hatchery grounds, or to picnic in areas provided for the public.

The hatchery does not sell or provide fishing gear, bait, licenses or picnic supplies. There are no garbage receptacles on Rock Creekor hatchery grounds.

Visitors must take responsibility for proper disposal of their own garbage. Restrooms, fishing and parking areas are provided for public use.

During your visit, please feel free to ask questions you may have concerning the hatchery.
Biologist in Training Program (BiT)
National Fish Hatcheries are outdoor classrooms For Kids, Parents and Educators: Biologist in Training - Credit: USFWS. BiT offers children the opportunity to have meaningful interactions with aquatic creatures and habitats.

Biologist in Training (BiT) is offered at Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery. For BiT information, please click here.
Contact, Address, Directions & Website
Telephone: (706) 838-4723 - Address: 4730 Rock Creek Road, Suches, GA 30572

Directions From Blue Ridge, Blairsville: Travel on Hwy. 515 to Hwy. 60 intersection. Follow Hwy. 60 South approximately 15 miles. Turn right on Rock Creek Road*. Hatchery is located 5 miles on right.
Directions From Dahlonega: Travel Hwy. 60 North to Suches. From Suches, continue another 11 miles on Hwy. 60 North. Turn left on Rock Creek Road*. Hatchery is located 5 miles on right.
Directions From Atlanta: Travel I-75 North, continue on 575 to Blue Ridge. See directions above or Travel 400 North to Dahlonega.

*Rock Creek Road is also FS 69. The first mile is maintained by Fannin County and is paved. The rest of the road is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and is unpaved.

Chattahoochee National Forest Fish Hatchery Website

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