SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On March 16, Gov. Jim Justice announced that the West Virginia Gold Rush is returning for its fourth year. For the first time, Gold Rush will include 12 days of trout stockings at some of the state’s most popular fishing lakes and streams.
“Every year through our incredible Gold Rush program, more and more people are discovering the thrill of fishing in West Virginia’s pristine waters, surrounded by the awe-inspiring nature we are blessed to enjoy in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Many are creating memories and family bonds that will last a lifetime,” Gov. Justice said.
From March 23 to April 3, the WVDNR will stock 50,000 golden rainbow trout at 62 lakes and streams, including waters in or near 15 state parks and forests. Stockings are scheduled to run through April 3. Stocking locations can be found at GoldRushWV.com.
“The golden rainbow trout is a really unique fish and a little more difficult to catch than a regular rainbow trout, which makes them a trophy for many anglers,” said WVDNR Hatchery Program Manager Jim Hedrick. “Once you see their unmistakable, bright-yellow color in the water, you can’t help but get excited and we hope folks are able to get out this year and enjoy this exciting event.”
WV State Parks Discount — A discount associated with Gold Rush is also available at several state parks and forests. Those interested in booking a stay can checkout using the discount code “GOLD” online at WVstateparks.com for 15% off their entire lodge or cabin reservation. Exclusions apply and details can be found at WVstateparks.com/deals.
“Gold Rush is an exciting event that encourages anglers and their families to visit our lakes, streams and wonderful parks and forests all throughout the state,” said West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel. “Not only is this event great for tourism, it provides exciting opportunities for kids and new anglers to enjoy trout fishing.”
Gold Rush Giveaways — In addition to extending Gold Rush to 12 days, the WVDNR is increasing the number of prizes anglers can win for catching a tagged trout. This year, 100 trout will receive a special numbered tag, which can be entered to win one of four prizes. The grand prize is a three-night cabin stay at Blackwater Falls State Park. Other prizes include one-night cabin stays at a state park or forest, West Virginia State Parks gift cards and exclusive Gold Rush merchandise.
For those who don’t reel in one of the 100 golden rainbow trout with a tag, there are still chances to win prizes by signing up to receive travel tips and information from the WVDNR at GoldRushWV.com.
Purchase A Fishing License — All anglers 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license with a current trout stamp and a valid form of identification while fishing during Gold Rush. Licenses and stamps can be purchased online at wvfish.com. Additionally, all anglers must follow West Virginia’s fishing regulations, which can be found online at wvdnr.gov.
About West Virginia’s Golden Rainbow Trout — The golden rainbow trout was bred at the Petersburg Hatchery over several years and introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration. For more than 50 years, golden rainbow trout has provided a special experience for anglers lucky enough to catch them.