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Hatchery prepares for spring with facelift
First major renovations, upgrades since 1960 to help improve daily operations
EmptyPond 3895
This pond at the Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery off Ford Avenue sits empty while old dirt is removed from the bottom before new clay is applied. The new clay will help with future erosion of the ponds and is part of a major renovation and restoration project at the hatchery. - photo by Crissie Elric

The Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery is in the process of getting a facelift — the first in more than 50 years.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Region fisheries supervisor Tim Barrett, there have been no improvements to the facility as a whole since the hatchery was first built in the 1960s.


The renovations will restore the ponds that have been eroded over time, he said, while also improving day-to-day operations.

“All ponds require a certain amount of maintenance, but it’s been 50 years or more since we did any maintenance to the whole place. So it’s high time,” Barrett said.

One improvement will bring in clay to line each pond to help with erosion. Barrett explained that as each crop of fish is harvested, the ponds are drained and then refilled, which erodes the banks and the shape of the ponds. So new dirt must added.

“The banks have been eroded and they are adding back dirt, but it will be better dirt that will hold up through all of those drainings,” Barrett said.

Other improvements include new walkways. The old walkways at the hatchery were made of wood and had nearly fallen apart, Barrett said. The new walkways, however, will be made of concrete and will be a lot sturdier.

Read more in the Feb. 1 edition of the News.

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