The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced the publication of updated fishing regulations and the return of trout stockings to select lakes and streams around the state.
“Trout stocking in West Virginia is just one of the ways we contribute to the preservation and enhancement of our natural resources, while also providing a fun and exciting outdoor activity for folks of all ages to enjoy,” said Brett McMillion, WVDNR director. “Our state’s beautiful lakes, streams and rivers are a true treasure and we hope first-time and experienced anglers alike can get out and cast a line this year.”
Trout stockings officially returned on Jan. 3 with stockings to the Greenbrier River (Marlinton section), James P. Bailey Lake, Larenim Park Lake and Williams River. While daily trout stockings are not announced in advance, the WVDNR publishes a list of recently stocked waters at WVdnr.gov/fish-stockings. Anglers may also find out what waters have been stocked by calling the stocking hotline at 304-558-3399.
In the event of inclement weather, missed stockings are made up by either additional stocking runs or additional fish added to upcoming stocking events.
For a complete list of stocking locations and frequency of stockings, anglers should consult pages 14 and 15 of the 2023 West Virginia Fishing Regulations Summary, available to download at WVdnr.gov/fishing-regulations.
West Virginia’s updated fishing regulations for 2023 went into effect on Jan. 1 and include changes to regulations regarding delayed harvest and catch-and-release waters.
The upper Guyandotte and all tributaries in Wyoming County, Barkers Creek and tributaries in Wyoming County and Elkhorn Creek and tributaries in McDowell County were all placed under catch-and-release regulations. The delayed harvest regulation was modified to be catch-and-release from Nov. 1 to May 15 and general regulations from May 16 to Oct. 31. Delayed harvest sections were established on Paint Creek in Fayette County, Williams River in Pocahontas County and Shavers Fork in Randolph County. To learn more about these changes, see page 1 of the Fishing Regulations Summary.
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 175 retail locations across the state or online at WVfish.com.
To learn more about fishing opportunities and trout stockings in West Virginia, visit WVdnr.gov/fishing.