Zach Baker, 26, of Maysville caught the fish on a stretch of public waterway that he wouldn’t name, according to Georgia Outdoor News. And rightly so because you don’t see golden trout very often.
The fish is likely the result of a hatchery raised strain of rainbow trout that began in the 1950s known as West Virginia golden trout, not to be confused with the California golden trout.
It’s especially rare to see one in Georgia because no hatchery in the state raises such a fish. So somehow the fish got into public waters. Baker said he sometimes catches albino trout but those have pink eyes.
A representative with the WRD Hatchery Manager at Buford Hatchery suggested the fish may have been stocked on private land and washed into the public waterway.
“Nonetheless, the Georgia DNR does not stock these type of fish,” Pat Markey told Georgia Outdoor News. “My guess is that this particular fish has been planted by an unknown source. Based on that photo I’d say it looks like a leucistic rainbow trout. Leusium is different from albinium in that there is not a complete loss of pigment, especially in the eyes.”
Photo credit: Georgia Outdoor News