It might be a bit odd that this negative NY Times article about Georgia’s new Go Fish education center is what compelled me to go visit it. I guess I figured that if my tax dollars have already been squandered on a $14 million fishing museum I might as well take advantage of it.
Perry is just about 45 minutes south of us so on Saturday, Trey and I hopped in the car and hit the interstate. I was surprised by the number of people there but soon found out that the “Great Outdoors Show” was going on at the convention center next door. Patrons of that exhibit received free admission to the fishing museum. They could be easily be picked out by their camouflage jackets and beer brand t-shirts (for those interested, Budweiser won out with the most t-shirt totting fans).
The museum is really nice, but at $14 million and only five months old, it ought to be. My 4-year-old didn’t have the patience for the 20-minute fishing film but he loved the interactive model boats and the fishing rod games (both featuring very prominent commercial brand sponsors). He didn’t notice, but the boat he played in had a TV screen that would show a mini-infomercial touting the advanced features of the watercraft every time he’d push a button.
There are quite a few aquariums and outdoor displays – unfortunately, due to the subject matter (Georgia’s native fresh water fish), they aren’t the most interesting of exhibits (my apologies to those of you that love staring at a dozen minnows floating around in murky water). By far, a tank with four sturgeon swimming in circles is the best since Trey got to reach in and touch the scaly, prehistoric looking critter.
The highlight was the stocked fishing ponds out back. Park rangers lend kids under 15 a fishing rod and give them a zip lock bag of bait to catch and release fish from the reservoirs. Admittedly, I’m not a talented fisherman and after five minutes of failing to cast our rod at all, I sheepishly asked for help. I was quite relieved to find out our fishing rod was broken and it wasn’t my stupidity (though I guess I was pretty stupid for not realizing my rod was broken). Trey enjoyed the fishing even though we didn’t catch anything.
** Oh, and you’ll notice in the pictures that Trey wore his “Super Trey” cape. Much to his offense, the park rangers asked him if he was “Trout Man.”