Info Provided by: Jeff Durniak, GA DNR North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor and North Georgia Region Fisheries staff
Your north Georgia fisheries benefit from some great teamwork among state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and even private organizations. Trout stream habitat benefits from the partnership among WRD, the U.S. Forest Service, and Georgia Trout Unlimited. Reservoir fish habitat is enhanced by the co-op of WRD, power companies like the Army Corps of Engineers, TVA, and Georgia Power, and local fishing clubs like the Marietta Bassmasters. Hatchery trout production and tailwater trout management are close partnerships between WRD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with some nice donations from folks like NGTO, TU, and local fly and tackle shops. On our border waters, SCDNR often steps in as our quarterback (see below). This “team’ approach pays real dividends as we combine staffs, operating funds, donations, and volunteer sweat equity to benefit fish habitat and angling opportunities for all of you who fish these public waters, from Forest Service streams to Army Corps reservoirs. Thanks to each of you who has helped, from bucket-stocking Ami DH trout to recycling a Christmas tree at an Allatoona attractor site, and from donating prizes for Outdoor Adventure Day to buying a TU license plate. Working together, we’ve hopefully made the sport and the habitat a bit better for all anglers visiting these hills above Atlanta. And for those of you who aren’t yet members, take a look around. You’ll find a comfortable position on this team and enjoy knowing you’ve played a role in our big wins. Come on and join in.
With some cold fall weather finally here and the water temperatures dropping, it is officially “topwater time” on our ponds and reservoirs. Grab your Sammy or Spook and start tossing at bass, hybrids, and stripers at sunrise and sunset. Beware a windy Saturday’s waves on the lakes and a heavy leaf fall into the streams. Watch the weather report and pick some good windows of opportunity to wet a line in the week ahead.
November Reminders – Georgia’s Delayed Harvest trout streams reopen for catch-and-release business on Nov. 1. Reliable sources indicate the fishing should be good by mid-morning Saturday.
Federal Hatchery Partners – We are cheering on our teammates at Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery as they completely rebuild half of their trout raceways. Details, photos, and video here.
Sturgeon Video – Enjoy Damer’s mentoring efforts with his “minor leaguers” at local schools. By the way, congratulations are in order for Mr. and Mrs. John Damer, who welcomed their second daughter, Ava, into this world last Wednesday. John is our biologist leading the Coosa River sturgeon restoration effort.
Chatuge: Shallow Largemouth Bass – “Chris and I were up on Lake Chatuge over the past week completing our annual fall electrofishing samples. The bigger spots are now down around 8-10 feet or deeper. Largemouths are a little shallower. With lake levels dropping, much of the downed timber is now out of the water, so look for any areas that still have timber in 6+ feet of water to find the good largemouths.” – Patrick O’Rouke, Fisheries Biologist
Lanier Topwater –
Lake Burton Browns – “During the last two weeks of October, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Section stocked 24,000 eleven-inch brown trout into Lake Burton. Over 5,000 brown trout were dispersed by boat. The fish were reared at Buford and Lake Burton trout hatcheries and transported to the lake in a refreshed fleet of stocking trucks, thanks to the revenues generated by purchasers of Trout Unlimited license plates. These fish will prey on the blueback herring population and provide a reservoir trout fishing opportunity for the state’s anglers. Trout that feast on bluebacks can grow two pounds per year, says WRD senior fisheries biologist Anthony Rabern. Trophy trout up to eleven pounds have been caught by skilled Lake Burton anglers. More on fishing Lake Burton. Get your fishing license and trout license.” – John Lee Thomson, Lake Burton Fish Hatchery Manager and Stocking Coordinator
Chattooga Delayed Harvest – Ever wondered where most of these fish come from? You’ll enjoy this video, from the egg to the copter drop. You may also remember prior videos on the copter operation, and some satisfied customers. Weather permitting, the 2014 copter should fly soon in November, the start of the contract (and that’s a specific as I will get…). Thanks to all of you who have contributed toward this program through its years of operation. It’s been a great team effort.
Toccoa Tailwater – Looks like some federal hatchery gifts recently hit those waters.
Dukes – With the clear water, you’d better bring you’re A-game. Reservations: 706-878-3087. NOTE: New anglers will do better on our DH streams.
Trout for Supper – The last time I looked, DH stockers weren’t very good at reading signs. Astute anglers might line up in year-around waters above or below the special regulation zones and aim for strays. Hints: Hooch below the mouth of Smith, Amicalola below 53, Chattooga below 28, Hooch above Sope. If they’re beyond the DH field of play, they’re fair game for harvesters.
Neat Article – Pick up a copy of American Angler magazine at your tackle shop and enjoy the article on Georgia’s own Goodwill Guides. Here’s a great team helping our vets. By the way, this magazine is an outstanding resource for beginning and intermediate flyfishers. For example, see the article by Jason Randall about strike indicators.
Help Georgia Trout Management– Buy a License Plate!
Upcoming Event – Dukes Help Wanted- Nov. 15. Kudos to our teammates at NGTO, Foothills TU, and Friends of Smithgall Woods.
Good luck this week. Thanks very much to all of you teammates contributing to our winning ways on north Georgia waters.
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