ELKINS, W.Va. — West Virginia’s trout stocking season is now underway, giving anglers and their families several opportunities to enjoy this exciting outdoor pastime. During the season, which runs through May 31, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will stock lakes and streams around the state each week.
A list of stocked waters and the frequency of stocking may be found in the new Fishing Regulations Summary, which also lists regulation changes for this year. Copies are now available at license agents, DNR District Offices and online at www.wvdnr.gov. Anglers can call the Fishing Hotline at 304-558-3399 or visit DNR’s website to find out which streams and lakes have been stocked each day.
Before casting their line, anglers must have a 2019 fishing license, which can be purchased online at www.wvfish.com, by calling the licensing unit at (304) 558-2758 or at license agents around the state.
Beginning in March, the stocking schedule will shift to Tuesday through Saturday, said DNR Fisheries Supervisor Jim Hedrick. Currently, the stocking schedule is Monday through Friday.
“The Saturday stockings we tried during last year’s Gold Rush were very popular, so we’re going to do it again with regular stockings once the weather warms up,” Hedrick said. “Some of the Saturday stockings will be announced in advance, and we think this will encourage more people to get outside to fish.”
Hedrick says the Gold Rush will return April 1-6. During that week, DNR will stock only golden rainbow trout in 55 lakes and streams across the state, including 12 state parks. To ensure families have plenty of opportunities to participate in the event, DNR is planning a big release on Saturday, April 6, which is the last day of the event. More details about Gold Rush can be found at www.wvgoldrush.com.
Anglers are encouraged to access DNR’s online interactive map which provides valuable information about fishing adventures in the Mountain State. The map contains information about which streams and lakes are stocked, special fishing regulation areas and driving directions to those waters. The interactive map has been upgraded to include information about lake depths, real-time stream flows and allows for maps to be downloaded for offline use or for printing.