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Walleye: Fresh from the renovated Walton fish hatchery

SOCIAL CIRCLE HILL, Ga. – This past week marks the first of the walleye harvest from the newly renovated Walton Fish Hatchery facility in Social Circle, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“It is exciting to get to the stage of harvesting fish here at the Walton Fish Hatchery since the completion of our recent renovation,” Hatchery Manager Tony Beck said. “Once these fish are harvested and loaded up, they are hauled out and stocked in reservoirs all over North Georgia!” 

Walleye (Sander vitreus) are somewhat torpedo-shaped, ranging in color from dark olive-brown to yellowish gold, with brassy-flecked sides, and a dark blotch at the rear of a spiny dorsal fin. They have two separate dorsal fins and the lower lobe of the tail is tipped with white. Walleye have large, glassy eyes reflect light at night.

Millions of sport fish, such as walleye, are produced each year at nine hatcheries in the state. Walton Hatchery recently completed a major renovation that includes all new infrastructure, such as fish kettles. The installation of a new drainage and water supply system allows the facility to store and recycle water, making the facility more water efficient.

In addition to walleye, Walton Fish Hatchery also raises other sport fish, such as bass, bream and catfish. Anglers support the operation of the hatchery through their fishing license purchase and through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund by paying taxes on items like fishing equipment and boat fuel. Those tax dollars get returned to Georgia based, in part, on how many fishing licenses are sold. So, buy a license ( to make sure your dollars stay in Georgia! 

For more information about the Walton Fish Hatchery, visit Fishing information available at