Director’s Message

Fishing Regulations Icon Virginia Fishing

Greetings Virginia Anglers! The upcoming 2019 season promises great fishing opportunities and the chance to make many new memories. No matter where in Virginia you live, great fishing is nearby.

Anglers looking for a challenge should try floating the James and New Rivers — both support world class musky fisheries. Anglers are catching fish over 30 lbs. Remember that these fish like a big meal — so bring big lures.

For those in the Staunton area, be sure to check out Lake Merriweather, a 450-acre reservoir that was recently opened to public fishing through the funds collected by the Public Access Lands for Sportsmen (PALS) program. You will need a PALS pass to access this lake, but the bass and crappie fishing will make it well worth it!

Anglers in urban areas will want to check out the opportunities available to them at their local bodies of water. We stock trout and channel catfish in metro waters throughout the state. Try your hand at trout fishing in Dorey Park in Henrico County, Ivy Creek Park Pond in Lynchburg, or Old Cossey Pond in Fredericksburg. It’s a great way to get outside without having to travel too far.

And, as the season begins, remember to take a friend or family member fishing with you. This trip can be a chance to reconnect – or to introduce someone new to the sport of fishing. If you need gear, we offer loaner rods and tackle at our Richmond headquarters and at most of our regional offices. We also host and participate in a variety of kids fishing days and other events, which you can find out about on our website. Many of our staff will be on hand at these events to provide fishing instruction.

I look forward to seeing you on the water this year!

Bob Duncan

Executive Director, DGIF

Virginia’s Sport fish Program and you

Anglers and boaters like you make it possible for Virginia to enjoy exceptional fishing and boating opportunities. Through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program, you help the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Marine Resources Commission make fishing and boating even better each time you buy a fishing reel, fishing lure, trolling motor, or gas for your boat because a portion of the federal tax goes to the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Virginia annually receives about $5 million of that money, which pays 75 percent of many of the fish management and boating access projects that improve your angling pleasure.

Angling Education Program

Fishing is such an exciting sport, one that can be enjoyed by all. One of the great things about fishing is that there are no restrictions to participants, regardless of age, gender, or ability; anyone can enjoy fishing and the outdoors! Yet there are so many who have never experienced the thrill of catching a fish!

In an effort to provide opportunities to experience fishing, the DGIF Angling Education Program offers and supports angling workshops and Kids Fishing Days events across the Commonwealth. The Fishing Education in the Schools program (FESP) trains and supplies teachers with materials to teach fishing in schools, while the Fishing in the Parks (FIP) program trains and supplies parks and youth organizations. The Angling Education Program also offers the Materials Request Program to provide educational fishing materials for events and the Tackle Loaner Program supplies rods, reels, and tackle on loan for individuals and events. To obtain a Materials Request form and locate a Tackle Loaner site near you, go to the DGIF website and click on “Fishing” and then “Fishing Education.”

For information on Kids Fishing Day events go to: