Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
A fun and educational daytrip with the kids.
If you really want to catch a trout, or at least see a lot of rainbows, make a daytrip to the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery. Located off of Highway 60 between Morganton and Dahlonega, the fish hatchery raises a million rainbow trout each year to stock the tailwaters, streams and lakes of northern Georgia. It is operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Visitors can tour the hatchery and visitor center, fish Rock Creek, have a picnic, take a hike or camp nearby at the Frank Gross Campground. A visit to the fish hatchery is "must do" for kids (and adults) who really want to catch some fish! Take your own gear and bait, and be sure to have a Georgia fishing license! The hatchery offers special group tours and sponsors annual fishing derbies for kids and seniors. It is also designed for use by school groups to teach students about the Southern Appalachian Ecosystem.
The 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. Approximately 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. The primary species raised at this facility is rainbow trout.
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 a lot of 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, offers a great trout fishing opportunity. U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are located both above and below the hatchery.
Directions: The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery is located on Highway 60 South between Morganton and Suches, near other mountain attractions, including Deep Hole and Cooper Creek recreation areas, the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Swinging Bridge. The hatchery gates are open to the public for viewing Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but please call ahead: 706-838-4723. For more information, see
Get our Trout Learning Adventure self guided tour map here.