PERRY, Georgia. (41NBC/WMGT) – Middle Georgia has many lakes and rivers for fishermen and women to cast out in, but you don’t have to go far to see Georgia’s native fish.
The Go Fish Education Center opened its doors to the public in 2010 to teach people about fish, where to go fishing and how to fish.
Located in Perry off of I-75, the center attracts thousands of Georgia residents and non-residents travelling from across the country.
“If you do like fishing, this is your one stop shop destination for everything- everything and anything fishing in the state of Georgia,” said Marion Baker, Education Director at the Go Fish Education Center
Outdoor aquariums with over 200,000 gallons of freshwater fish native to Georgia show what kind of fish can be found in each natural environment.
Some of those fish include large mouth bass, common carp, blue and channel catfish, garr, and rainbow trout.
The Go Fish Education Center really plays on the words ‘Go’ ‘Fish’ – in fact, visitors can go fishing in the acre big pond using fishing poles and bait provided by the center.
Visitors aren’t the only people who get a kick out of catching fish. Baker says her “biggest joy is getting out there on the casting pond and helping a child catch their very first fish.”
Inside the center, you can even test your fishing skills on the freshwater and saltwater fishing simulators.
Patty Bryant visited the Go Fish Education Center with her grandchildren this summer. Her granddaughter, Kaylin Bailey, said she enjoyed fishing on the saltwater simulator, because it actually pulls you forward like a real fish would.
The Go Fish Education Center is currently operated by the fisheries management section of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources which promotes boating and fishing tourism across the state.
The center helps control fish populations in the state by bringing fish into the hatcheries for mating and releasing them to environments with low populations.
To fight overpopulation, the center allows visitors to harvest eight fish per day from their pond in March and October.
Even if you don’t like fishing, the Go Fish Education Center has something for you! There is a shooting gallery for visitors to practice their aim with hunting games and educational classes hosted for groups.