ELKINS, W.Va. — The fishing event of the year in West Virginia is officially underway. The West Virginia Gold Rush has returned for its fifth year and includes 12 days of special golden rainbow trout stockings in 69 lakes and streams around the state.
”It’s a great time to be an angler in West Virginia and the Gold Rush returning for its fifth year just adds to that excitement,” said Jim Hedrick, hatchery program manager for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “We can’t wait for folks to get out and enjoy a fishing adventure with their family over the next two weeks.”
Through April 9, the WVDNR will stock 50,000 golden rainbow trout at 69 lakes and streams around the state, including waters in or near 15 state parks and forests. Stocking locations and details about the Gold Rush can be found at WVdnr.gov/goldrush.
“You have to see these fish to believe it, but they’re absolutely gorgeous,” Hedrick said. “We have larger fish to put in this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of anglers reeled in a golden trout as big as 10 pounds.”
West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout is prized by anglers for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. These fish were selectively bred by WVDNR biologists over several years and introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration.
While golden rainbow trout are a unique fish, Hedrick said there’s no secret or special technique required to catch them.
”Golden rainbows tend to be a little finicky and more difficult to catch, but you can get them to bite if you’re patient,” he said. “I recommend using a small hook and bait. Use very little weight, try to make the bait float naturally and give it some time.”