Go Fish Georgia Initiative
Go Fish Georgia Initiative
The Go Fish Georgia Initiative seeks to establish Georgia as a national fishing destination through a three-tiered approach:
1) improving the quality of fishing in Georgia waters;
2) improving access to water bodies for fishing in Georgia; and
3) increasing participation through active promotion and marketing of Georgia’s exceptional fishing resources.
The Go Fish Education Center and fish hatchery directly address goals 1 and 3. Additionally, the initiative will promote fishing as a family-friendly, fun activity that over one million people across the state already enjoy and encourage others to get outside with their children and give fishing a try.
The Go Fish Education Center was built as a pillar of the Go Fish Georgia Initiative’s mission. The Initiative’s mission is to promote and enhance boating and fishing tourism in Georgia and to boost economic development in communities across the state. This initiative will result in quality fisheries resources statewide, including family friendly fishing and recreation access points that will increase fishing participation in Georgia.
The Center, which opened October 2010, is located at 1255 Perry Parkway, Perry GA 31069 (478.988.6701). The Center is open Friday-Saturday (9 am - 5 pm), Sunday (1 pm - 5 pm); Tuesday - Thursday (available for school groups). The Center also is available for special events during non-regular operating hours (call for more info).
Go Fish Georgia is an initiative that leveraged $19 million in state funds with private donations and financial support from local communities all across the State. Nearly $9 million in cash or in-kind sponsorship have been received from local communities and Go Fish Corporate Sponsors.
The Georgia Bass Trail consists of large capacity boat ramps are built through a partnership between local and state organizations. Facilities at these sites typically include multiple boat ramp lanes, extra capacity parking lots, and areas to weigh in the angler’s catch. Local communities maintain and market these ramps. Currently, there are 13 ramps completed in the state including Laurel Park on Lake Lanier, Tugaloo State Park on Lake Hartwell, Gum Branch on Lake Hartwell, Wildwood Park on Clarks Hill Lake, Robert Baurle Lock & Dam Ramp on the Savannah River, Veterans Memorial State Park Ramp on Lake Blackshear, Earle May Boat Basin on Lake Seminole, Buckeye Landing on the Oconee River, Jaycee Landing on the Altamaha River, Burton's Ferry Landing on the Savannah River, Tuckasee King on the Savannah River and Houlahan Bridge on the Savannah River.
There will be 17 of these mega ramps across the state when the program is complete. Remaining ramps are in various stages of permitting or construction with most to be completed shortly. This program required 50/50 match with communities. These ramps will bring economic development to the surrounding communities. A tournament like the Bass Master Elite Pride of Georgia Tournament which was held on West Point Lake May 5-8, 2011 can have a $4 - $5 million economic impact on the community. This is in addition to the benefit to recreational boaters and anglers that will use this facility throughout the year.
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