Thursday, January 3, 2008 Updated: January 4, 8:35 PM ET
Georgia Gov. says "Go Fish"
By Robin Hill Georgia DNR
PERRY, Ga. As the Georgia Department of Natural Resources begins implementation
of the Go Fish Georgia program, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced the locations for the
Go Fish Georgia Center and Hatchery and the 10 sites across the state for mega-ramps to be
built on lakes and rivers.
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (left) receives an oversized lure.
"The announcements today are exactly what I envisioned when I proposed the Go Fish
Georgia program state and local governments joining with private donations, all contributing to
growing our state as a destination for recreational and tournament fishing," Gov.
Gov. Perdue joined a number of local officials from Perry and Houston County to
announce the Go Fish Georgia Center will be built on 120 acres located on the south side of the
Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. This facility will include a visitor's center that
will market and promote fishing opportunities throughout the state, an on-site public fishing lake
and a fully functioning warm water hatchery.
The site for the visitor's center and hatchery was selected after an independent review of
more than a dozen potential locations using criteria developed by Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) and the Department of Economic Development (GDEcD).
In addition, the
Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter supports the use of this property for the facility,
and the Houston County Development Authority, Houston County, Perry Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Perry are contributing $2.5 million to the construction costs of this
"We are excited about serving as the host community for Governor Perdue's Go Fish
Georgia Initiative and are even more pleased about the tourism potential this statewide visitor's
center brings to our community," said Perry Mayor Jim Worrall. "The Go Fish Georgia Center is
a natural complement for the Georgia National Fairground & Agricenter as both will attract
visitors to our community and enhance the economic impact of tourism in Georgia."
The 10 mega-ramp sites announced are part of a 15-site bass fishing trail that will
include large ramps capable of accommodating large fishing tournaments. Eight of the sites will
receive Go Fish Georgia funds to match local financial and in-kind contributions for
The other two sites will be built on Lake Hartwell using funds from the PCB
contamination settlement stemming from chemical releases upstream by a South Carolina plant
that eventually flowed down into the lake.
The sites that were announced include:
• Laurel Park Hall County on Lake Lanier
• Wildwood Park Columbia County on Clarks Hill Lake
• Richard B. Russell State Park Elbert County on Lake Richard B. Russell
• Pyne Road Park Troup County on West Point Lake
• Veterans Memorial State Park Crisp County / Cordele on Lake Blackshear
• Earle May Boat Basin Park City of Bainbridge on Lake Seminole
• Jaycee Landing Wayne County and City of Jesup on the Altamaha River
• Robert Baurle Ramp Augusta / Richmond County on the Savannah River
• Gum Branch Access Hart County and the City of Hartwell on Lake Hartwell
• Tugaloo State Park Franklin County, Stephens County and the City of Lavonia
on Lake Hartwell.
"This program will allow for the development of a new ramp enabling Augusta to pursue
economic development opportunities in the form of fishing tournaments, while at the same time
providing increased outdoor recreational opportunities to local citizens for generations to come,"
said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who also attended today's announcement. "I would like
to personally thank Governor Perdue for his efforts as they are greatly appreciated."
Also announced were the new logos for Go Fish Georgia. These logos were
selected to represent the family values and the economic potential associated with program.
red bobber logo promotes recreational fishing for families and draws upon memories of
childhood fishing adventures for young and old alike. The classic bass fishing lure is meant to
appeal to more advanced anglers and professional fishing tournaments.
Fishing contributes approximately $1.5 billion to Georgia's economy each year. DNR
estimates more than 10,000 jobs in Georgia are related to sport fishing, which generates $15
million in state income taxes, and $19 million in state sales taxes. A major bass fishing
tournament can have as much as a $5 million economic impact on a local community. A
championship event can have a $27 million economic impact.
Go Fish Georgia is designed 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.
For more information on fishing in Georgia or the Go Fish Georgia initiative, please go to www.gofishgeorgia.com