WRD Fisheries Section Hatcheries
Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery
Richmond Hill hatchery is located in Bryan County.
Directions to the hatchery from Savannah: Take I-95 south to exit 90. Turn east (left) on Hwy 144. The hatchery will be approximately .5 miles on the left.
Directions to the hatchery from Brunswick: Take I-95 north to exit 90. Turn east (right) on Hwy 144. The hatchery will be approximately .5 miles on the left.
Street address: 110 Hatchery Drive, Richmond Hill GA 31324
For information about this hatchery call 912-756-3691.
General Hatchery Information
Richmond Hill Hatchery is an 87-acre facility which includes 38 fish production and rearing ponds totaling 18.8 acres of water and 3 Kids Fishing Event (KFE) ponds. Original construction of Richmond Hill Hatchery began in 1933 and was performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The land was later donated to the State of Georgia by Henry Ford in 1936.
The Hatchery Rearing Facilties
Richmond Hill Hatchery currently raises 8 different types of fish including striped bass and hybrid striped bass. Since 1968, when the statewide striped and hybrid bass propagation program was headquartered at Richmond Hill, more than 600 million striper and hybrid striper fry have been hatched at the facility. These fish are grown out in ponds at Richmond Hill Hatchery and five other state hatcheries until they grow to about 1 inch in length. These fingerlings are then stocked into reservoirs and streams throughout the state. The whole process is actually very quick. Each spring, wild brood stock are collected from inland reservoirs and sent to Richmond Hill. At the hatchery, eggs are hand-stripped from females, fertilized with male sperm and hatched in special jars. It only takes 44 hours for the eggs to hatch. Once in the pond the fish are grown for 30 days in which time they reach the desired 1 inch length and are ready to be stocked across the state. In addition, some 6 to 8 inch stripers are raised for ongoing restoration projects on the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers.
Bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and channel catfish are also raised for stocking into privately owned ponds. Last year, more than 600,000 bream, 50,000 largemouth bass and 70,000 catfish were distributed to pond owners in order to establish fish populations in their new or renovated ponds. If you have a pond you are interested in having stocked, call the hatchery or your local Fisheries Management office.
Hatchery Nature Trail
Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery has a 1 mile long nature trail and, if you are lucky, you may see white tail deer, fox, alligators, rabbits, or even a turkey. It is also a great place for bird watching. Keep your eyes out for a pied-billed grebe, belted kingfisher, eastern bluebird, barred owl, or a bald eagle, just to name a few.
Family Fishing Ponds and Special Events
In June and September the hatchery hosts its annual Kids Fishing Events. There are plenty of fish to be caught and a good time is had by all who attend. Each event sees over 200 kids and their parents participating and those numbers continue to grow. The hatchery annually produces about 50,000 catfish 8 inches in length to help support the Kids Fishing Program and ensure that the children see a fish, catch a fish and touch a fish. In September 2004, the First Annual Outdoor Adventure Day was held at the hatchery allowing children to sample other outdoor sports and activities, including kayaking, archery, paintball, and wildlife exhibits.
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