Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Burton Hatchery Facelift

recently had a chance to tour the newly renovated Lake Burton Fish Hatchery. 


The antiquated facility got quite a facelift!  Hatchery manager and state trout stocking coordinator John Lee Thomson said the state/federal trout hatchery program is on track to return to a one-million fish annual stocking target for next year.  That’s good news for all Georgia trout anglers, from harvesters to releasers and from stream waders to Lake Burton trollers.

The renovated Burton facility features a new dam and water intake system and several new buildings. The hatchery barn has an egg hatching room, a fry rearing room, and a large space for adult trout rearing in circular tanks. Stocking trucks can pull right through the barn.

Rebuilt outside raceways will grow subcatchable trout to the target stocking size of 10 inches and larger. The addition of a liquid oxygen system will ease fish stress due to low, warm summer flows. John Lee was excited about growing all three trout species to hopefully add diversity to the 2023 stocking season.

A new warehouse stores equipment and vehicles for both the hatchery program and the two resident biologists’ field programs, which cover trout streams and reservoirs.

A new administration building near the boat ramp provides staff office and laboratory space. The ramp parking lot has also been repaved.

Thanks in large part to our angler dollars, through the federal excise tax on fishing equipment and our TU license plate purchases, GAWRD has a much better facility for the trout that we count on for our fishing fun.  

Stop by Burton Hatchery one day and take a look around.  It’s a nice detour on your way to your favorite Rabun County trout waters.  On your trek  north, make a quick pit stop at our Clarkesville store for the latest intel and hot flies.

 Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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