Greetings, anglers! Spring is just around the corner and with it comes warmer weather and the promise of productive fishing.
The outlook for the 2018 season is positive. Few states offer the variety of fishing opportunities available in Virginia. An angler can pursue trophy largemouth bass in the tidal rivers of the east, abundant smallmouth bass in the central portion of the state, wild brook trout in the mountains, and memorable walleye west of the Blue Ridge.
As part of our efforts, we employ habitat improvements, supplemental stockings, or a combination of the two to improve fisheries in our lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Our actions statewide include placing fish attractors, catfish spawning boxes, native vegetation, and rock reefs. As recent examples, we worked with partners to plant native water celery in Claytor Lake and deploy more than one hundred fish attractors throughout Smith Mountain Lake. Further, we continue to stock channel catfish, large and smallmouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, crappie, sunfish, walleye, and saugeye throughout the state. These activities contribute to the fine fishing we enjoy in Virginia and are funded through a combination of license revenue and partner contributions.
We also work to ensure that Virginia anglers continue to enjoy some of the best trout fishing in North America. As part of our Stocked Trout Management Plan, we are adding seven new youth trout waters for 2018. These waters are open only to anglers age 15 and younger from April 1 to June 15 and provide the chance for young anglers to catch brown, brook, and rainbow trout. Many of these fish are citation size!
I also want to highlight new fishing opportunities available in 2018. We recently completed construction of a fishing pier at Jones Point Park in Alexandria, providing access to the tidal Potomac River. And Lake Mooney, a 520-acre lake in Stafford County, is now open to fishing. This newly opened body of water provides anglers with the chance to catch largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish.
So, get ready. Spool your reels, sharpen your hooks, and take a kid fishing. I hope to see you on the water!
Executive Director, DGIF
Virginia’s Sport Fish Program and You
Anglers 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.