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Hooked on trout
Season runs until Oct. 31
trout hatchery f clo1312D0
Rain or shine, Don McKinley said he would be out trout fishing with his 6-year-old grandson, Nate, this weekend.

“We’ve been planning this too long,” McKinley said. “I got two ponchos and a dozen rooster tails (lures). That’s all we need.”

Like other Forsyth County residents, McKinley planned to take advantage of the official start of trout fishing season, which runs until Oct. 31.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent much of last week stocking rivers in anticipation of the season opening.

Buford Trout Hatchery stocks much of the rainbow trout folks catch in the Chattahoochee River.

Assistant Manager Pat Markey said most of the fish that go in the river range in size from 9 to 12 inches. The foot-long trout are a bonus for the first weekend of trout season.

“There’s always the chance for an angler to catch a bigger fish than your normal size,” Markey said.

Markey said about 95 percent of the trout they put in the water are 9 inches long. Officials said stream flows help with fish distribution.

“Since stream flows are up, we’ll have an opportunity to spread our fish out well,” said DNR trout stocking coordinator Perry Thompson. “Flow can drop quickly though, and we’ll manage accordingly.”

Thompson said sites like nearby Buford Dam Park, which fronts the Chattahoochee, will be a great resource for fishermen.

“These sites are well-stocked and provide great angling experiences for someone new to the sport,” Thompson said.

McKinley’s grandson and other newcomers have a sporting chance of landing a trout this season.

The Chattahoochee River at Buford Dam Park is open year-round to trout fishermen, but many of Georgia’s streams are seasonal.

“I’m excited for him,” McKinley said. “It’s time he learned the basics.”

E-mail Frank Reddy at