Fish hatcheries across the state are being squeezed by the continuing drought, and their energy and feed costs are up, while demand is down.
There are about 250 thousand acres of ponds and lakes across Georgia.
Paul Williams with Owen and Williams Fish Farm in Hawkinsville says while they are doing business in north Georgia and extreme southern Georgia, demand for restocking in the middle of the state has dried up.
“ Middle Georgia and a strip across here into South Carolina is still quite dry. And if people see their pond dropping a foot or two then they’re not likely to put fish in it.”
Williams says meanwhile they had to start rationing their fish because the cost of feed has almost doubled in the last 3 to 4 years.
“ We cut back in the winter anyway because fish are cold-blooded and don’t eat as much. Over the cool months we did cut back a little more than I wanted to.”
And he says energy costs to power their pumps are also rising.