WVDNR, Gov. Justice announce fall trout stocking

CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) announced today that fall trout stocking is underway in West Virginia. With stockings beginning on Oct. 18 and continuing through Oct. 29, Gov. Justice and the WVDNR are encouraging anglers from across the state and nation to take advantage of these fishing opportunities throughout the fall season.

“As a lifelong fisherman myself, I can honestly say that getting out on the pristine waters that we’re blessed with in West Virginia and casting a line is one of my all-time favorite pastimes,” Gov. Justice said. “Fall in West Virginia is one of the most beautiful times of year you’ll find in nature anywhere on Earth. I’d strongly encourage anyone who has a passion for fishing, or who just loves the outdoors, to come find out how amazing fall trout season is in West Virginia.”

40,700 pounds of trout from WVDNR hatcheries will be stocked during this period in 38 waters throughout the state, including the following:

Lakes and Ponds:

•Brandywine (Pendleton)

•Buffalo Fork (Pocahontas)

•Cacapon (Morgan)

•Coopers Rock (Monongalia)

•New Creek Dam 14 (Grant)

•Pendelton (Tucker)

•Rock Cliff (Hardy)

•Seneca (Pocahontas)

•Spruce Knob (Randolph)

•Summit (Greenbrier)

•Teter Creek (Barbour)

•Watoga (Pocahontas)

Rivers and Streams:

•Anthony Creek (Greenbrier)

•Big Clear Creek (Greenbrier)

•Blackwater River (Tucker)

•Buckhannon River (Upshur)

•Cranberry River (Nicholas, Pocahontas, Webster)

•Elk River (Randolph, Webster)

•Evitts Run (Jefferson)

•Glade Creek of New River (Raleigh)

•Knapps Creek (Pocahontas)

•Lost River (Hardy)

•North Branch of Potomac River (Mineral)

•North Fork of South Branch (Grant, Pendleton)

•Opequon Creek (Berkeley, Jefferson)

•Pinnacle Creek (Wyoming)

•Pond Fork (Boone)

•R.D. Bailey Lake Tailwaters (Mingo, Wyoming)

•Shavers Fork Lower Section (Randolph)

•Shavers Fork Upper Section (Randolph)

•South Branch Franklin Section (Pendleton)

•South Branch Smoke Hole Section (Pendleton)

•Summersville Lake Tailwaters (Nicholas)

•Sutton Lake Tailwaters (Braxton)

•Tygart Lake Tailwaters (Taylor)

•Tygart Valley River Headwaters (Randolph)

•West Fork of Greenbrier River (Pocahontas)

•Williams River (Pocahontas, Webster)

Anglers should expect ideal trout fishing conditions to continue for several weeks after the two week stocking period, especially in larger streams and lakes where the trout have more room to disperse. Stocking locations are updated Monday through Friday and can be found online at WVdnr.gov.

“Every year, I challenge our DNR to make the world-class fishing experience we already enjoy in West Virginia even better and more accessible to everyone,” Gov. Justice said. “When you think about just how many of these trophy fish are going to be stocked in over three dozen of our lakes and streams, spread all across the state, I am confident this may be our best fall fishing season yet.”

In addition to calling for hatchery renovations, in April 2019, Gov. Justice directed the WVDNR to improve its trout stocking methods by spreading out over longer sections of streams, allowing fish to be available to anglers at several new locations. In 2020, Gov. Justice also directed the WVDNR to add more lakes and streams to the stocking schedule, including state parks and forests.

“We are always excited to bring fishing opportunities to West Virginians and visitors to our beautiful state, and the amazing thing is, the opportunities keep getting better,” said WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “In the past three years alone, the Governor has initiated several enormous improvements to our trout stocking program and hatcheries. Currently, we have $30 million in renovations to hatcheries underway. When the renovations are all said and done, our capacity for holding trout will increase from 800,000 pounds to 1.25 million pounds.”

In addition to trout stocking, West Virginia is currently experiencing peak fall foliage throughout the state making West Virginia State Parks ideal places to enjoy both fishing and fall scenery. Five parks included in the trout stocking schedule are Blackwater Falls State Park (Blackwater River), Cacapon Resort State Park (Cacapon Lake), Coopers Rock State Forest (Coopers Rock Lake) and Tygart Lake State Park (Tygart Lake tailwaters).

“The abundance of outdoor recreation makes West Virginia a spectacular place to visit in the fall,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Each year, under the leadership of Gov. Justice, we partner with the Division of Natural Resources to help spread the word about hunting and fishing opportunities and our incredible state parks and forests, which are really one-stop destinations for fishing, fall foliage, and so many other activities. I highly encourage everyone to go online to WVtourism.com and find inspiration for their fall adventures in Almost Heaven.”

While fishing for trout in West Virginia, all anglers 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license, trout stamp and valid form of identification. To learn more about West Virginia’s fishing regulations, visit WVdnr.gov. To purchase a fishing license and trout stamps, visit WVfish.com.