Georgia’s approximately 4,000 miles of trout streams are relatively unproductive when compared to streams found in other parts of the country. This is, in part, due to the calcium deficient soils found in north Georgia. Therefore, to meet the demands of over 100,000 trout anglers, stocking and special regulations are used on some streams to maintain acceptable catch rates.
The Wildlife Resources Division and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stock streams with rainbow, brown and brook trout from late March through October (learn about DNR trout hatcheries). The number of trout stocked and the stocking frequency depend on a stream’s fishing pressure, accessibility, and water conditions.
In general, streams on public lands are stocked more often and with greater numbers of trout. Trout fishing opportunities vary and include heavily-stocked high-use streams (better for beginners), wilderness streams, streams with special regulations, and small impoundments. Some “special regulation” streams offer trophy or catch-and-release fishing opportunities (tips on releasing fish).
Trout need clean, cold water to survive and reproduce. Georgians can be good trout managers by using proper land use practices. Trees left along stream banks provide shade to keep water temperatures cold while their root systems help stabilize stream banks and prevent soil from washing into the stream and smothering trout eggs and aquatic insects.
Most trout streams are located on private property and the land owner controls access to, and fishing rights in, such streams. It is your responsibility to know when you cross a property line. Always get permission from the land owner before entering or fishing on private property.
Respect private property. Many trout streams are located on private property. It is your responsibility to know when you cross a property line. Always obtain permission from the landowner before entering or fishing on private property.
Special Regulation Trout Streams
The following trout streams have special regulations. Click on the link to learn more before fishing:
- Artificial Lures Only: Chattahoochee River, Coleman River, Conasauga River, Hoods Creek, Jones Creek, Mountaintown Creek, Noontootla Creek, Stanley Creek, Walnut Creek
- Delayed Harvest Streams (Special: Early Season DH Tips):
- Age Restriction: Moccasin Creek
- Trophy Trout: Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek, Waters Creek