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Prep Biology Club vists fish hatchery and Tallulah Gorge State Park

The GMC High School Biology Club visited the Department of Natural Resources Lake Burton Fish Hatchery and Tallulah Gorge State Park on Saturday, May 4th. Freshmen Madison Waddell, Meia Warren, Becky Vaughn, Shelby Somers, Dylan Thorne, Caitlin Settle, sophomore Rose O’Donnell, and junior Katya Williams enjoyed a two-hour tour of the hatchery, led by John Lee Thomson, Stocking Coordinator/Hatchery Manager. They learned how native brook trout and non-native species of rainbow and brown trout are raised from egg to mature adult before being transported in specialized tanks on large trucks to north Georgia rivers for release. Because the fish are primarily raised for human consumption, the raceways are carefully monitored to ensure the fish are provided a safe and healthy habitat during their months of growth. Afterward, club sponsor Emily Fairbrass and her husband, Mark, boarded the students onto a bus to Tallulah Gorge to take on the 1000+ staircase down into the gorge and traverse the suspension bridge swaying 80 feet over the Tallulah River. Quotes from students: "It was incredibly interesting to learn about fish hatcheries. I was previously unaware that there even were fish hatcheries in Georgia, and I was astounded by the complexity of this field of science as well as the amount of work put into it." Rose O’Donnell “I enjoyed this trip because it was the first time going and I got to see the world from a whole new perspective and understand why saving nature is so important.” Madison Waddell “Our trip to Lake Burton and Tallulah Gorge was an AMAZING experience. At Lake Burton we learned how fish are raised from eggs all the way until they are put into North Georgia streams. Tallulah Gorge was by far my most favorite part of this trip. Aside from the cold weather and pouring rain, we managed to have one of the best trips of my life. Tallulah Gorge is one of the most beautiful places in Georgia and with the combination of rainy weather and close friends, made this an unforgettable experience.” Caitlin Settle “On our trip to the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery we were taken through the inner workings of the hatchery from the process of hatching to the delivery of fish. We learned how the fish are counted and sorted to be placed in their respective raceways. IT was a fun and enlightening trip that I think anyone could enjoy!” Shelby Somers “The trip to the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery was very interesting and fun. I loved seeing how much work goes into raising fish for human consumption. Afterward, we went to Tallulah Gorge and went hiking. The hike there was absolutely stunning, beautiful, and super fun! Despite the absolutely terrifying suspension bridge, this trip was fantastic!” Becky Vaughn “This weekend we went on a trip to the fish hatchery. We got to touch the fish and we learned about them.” Dylan Thorne “This trip helped me in many ways. I learned how the Georgia fish are raised and how many are put into rivers of North Georgia. This was also my first time to the Georgia mountains and the experience was awesome!” Meia Warren Left to right: Club sponsor Emily Fairbrass, Katya Williams, Caitlin Settle, Madison Waddell (front), Meia Warren, Rose O’Donnell, Becky Vaughn, Shelby Somers, Dylan Thorne