Gov. Jim Justice announced Oct. 13 that the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will begin fall trout stockings during the weeks of Oct. 16 and Oct. 23. The state’s second annual Monster Trout Contest will also return during the same time.
During these two weeks, the WVDNR will stock more than 40,000 pounds of trophy-size and monster trout at 43 lakes and streams around the state. Of that total, 35,000 pounds of trout weighing 1-2 pounds and 6,500 pounds of monster trout weighing 3-6 pounds will be stocked. Out of the monster trout, five fish will have a tag that can be redeemed for a grand prize.
“This is one of the best announcements of the year as we stock our lakes and streams, and we have created an exciting element by adding the Monster Trout Contest,” Justice said. “This also provides an excellent opportunity for all of our anglers to catch fish and potentially win some great, great prizes. So, gear up and get out there during this amazing time of year.”
Anglers who catch one of the five tagged fish and submit a photo with the tag number will be eligible to win a weekend cabin stay at a West Virginia State Park or a Cabela’s prize package. Entries must be submitted by Nov. 17.
“We’re excited to bring back our Monster Trout Contest for a second year and continue to provide anglers and their families some of the best fishing experiences in the country,” Brett McMillion, director of the WVDNR, said. “These stockings will go by quickly, but anglers should expect ideal trout fishing conditions to continue for several weeks, especially in larger streams and lakes where trout have more room to disperse.”
Lakes and streams scheduled to receive a fall trout stocking during the weeks of Oct. 16 and Oct. 23 are Anthony Creek, Big Clear Creek, Blackwater River, Brandywine Lake, Buckhannon River, Buffalo Fork Lake, Cacapon State Park Lakes, Coopers Rock Lake, Cranberry River, Elk River, Evitts Run, Glade Creek of Man, Glade Creek of New, Jennings Randolph Tailwaters, Knapps Creek, Lost River, New Creek Dam No. 14, North Fork South Branch, Opequon Creek, Pendleton Lake, Pinnacle Creek, Pipestem, Pond Fork, R.D. Bailey Tailwaters, Rock Cliff Lake, Seneca Lake, Shavers Fork (Bemis, Lower and Upper), South Branch (Franklin and Smoke Hole), Spruce Knob Lake, Summersville Tailwaters, Summit Lake, Sutton Tailwaters, Teter Creek Lake, Tygart River Headwaters, Tygart Tailwaters, Upper Guyandotte River, Watoga Lake, West Fork Greenbrier, Wheeling Creek and Williams River.
Each water will be stocked once each week for a total of two stockings.
For a complete list of waters receiving a fall trout stocking, anglers should check pages 14-15 in the 2023 Fishing Regulations Summary. The WVDNR also posts trout stocking updates online at https://wvdnr.gov/fishing/fish-stocking/.
Criteria used to determine what waters receive a fall stocking is based on stream flow and if the water temperature is below 68 degrees. Because of these factors, waters included on the fall stocking list are primarily located at higher elevations and in areas that have a consistent volume of cold water during October.
All anglers 15 years and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license, trout stamp and a valid form of identification while fishing for trout. Licenses and stamps can be purchased at 160 retail locations across the state or online at WVfish.com.