Greetings Virginia Freshwater Anglers! We have many exciting things planned for 2020.
First, we are offering our annual Free Fishing Days from Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. No fishing license will be required on these dates in waters throughout the state, with the exception of a permit at our fee fishing areas. On these dates, staff will be putting on fishing workshops where gear, tackle, and instruction will be provided. This is a great way to try out the great sport of fishing. See What’s New for 2020 for more information.
Second, we are expanding our Angler Recognition Program to include black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, saugeye, and fallfish. We are also adding a Master Angler Level VI and an online option for anglers to submit their catch for recognition. We have made these changes to better acknowledge the variety of fish species available to Virginia anglers and to recognize those that put in the time necessary to catch a trophy fish.
Next, I want you to be aware of our Urban Trout Program. We stock eight bodies of water in urban areas including Cook Lake, Dorey Park Pond, Shield Lake, Armistead Point Park Pond, Locust Shade Park Lake, Ivy Creek Park Pond, Northwest River Park Lake, and Old Cossey Pond with trout from November 1 through April 30. Our program provides anglers in more developed areas the opportunity to catch trout in their own backyard during the winter months. A trout license is required to fish in these waters during stocking season. We will be announcing these stockings the week before they occur, so follow our website for more information.
Speaking of trout, we will be having our second annual Hatchery Open House on Saturday, May 30th at our five cold water hatchery facilities–Montebello, Coursey Springs, Paint Bank, Marion, and Wytheville. Staff will be onsite to provide tours and answer questions about fish culture and fish stocking. Bring the whole family–we will provide food to feed the trout and do not forget these facilities are located in areas with beautiful scenery and great outdoor recreational opportunities.
See you on the water!
Ryan J. Brown
Hidden Valley WMA, Meghan Marchetti / DGIF