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Director's Message

Greetings Virginia Anglers, As winter transitions to spring, it is a great time to get out on the water and experience the world-class sportfishing that Virginia has to offer. You don’t have to travel far to find great fishing – you may be surprised to find that excellent fishing opportunities exist in your own backyard, even if you live in one of our urban areas. The Virginia DWR works closely with municipal, state, and non-governmental partners to establish quality fisheries in and around metropolitan areas throughout the state. We stock catfish, trout, largemouth bass and sunfish in many of these waterbodies, and they provide a great chance to connect to the outdoors. These efforts are part of our FishLocalVA initiative, and you can find more information on these sites at Our annual Free Fishing Days will be Friday, June 4th through Sunday, June 6th. No fishing license will be required on these dates, with the exception of a permit at our fee fishing areas. This is a great time to take a friend or family member fishing for the first time and to visit some of our FishLocalVA waters. We have also made changes to our popular Angler Recognition Program, which we have shifted to a strictly online platform. The online Angler Recognition Program can be accessed through Go Outdoors at Anglers can enter their trophy fish online, or even from their phone while on the water. After entering your fish, your certificate will be available to print. I also want to let you know that there are several new regulations in place for 2021. You will see a summary of these new regulations on page 6. Of those regulations, I want to draw your attention to those aimed at halting the spread of invasive Alabama bass, commonly known as Coosa spotted bass. Alabama bass are a recent addition to Virginia waters and have the potential to harm our existing largemouth and smallmouth bass fisheries. There are no size or bag limits on Alabama bass and anglers are encouraged to keep any that they catch and to report new occurrences to DWR. You will find more information on Alabama bass on page 43. See you on the water! Ryan J. Brown Executive Director

Angling Education Program

Fishing is an exciting sport that everyone can enjoy! It truly brings us closer to family, friends, and the outdoors. Yet, there are so many people who have never experienced the thrill of catching a fish! In an effort to provide opportunities to experience fishing, the DWR Angling Education Program offers and supports angling workshops, events, and Kids Fishing Days across the Commonwealth. The Angling Education Program also offers the Materials Request Program which provides educational fishing materials for events and the Tackle Loaner Program which 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, visit our website at Interested in fishing reports across the commonwealth? Make sure to watch our monthly fishing reports on our agency youtube page: These reports will not only cover seasonal conditions, but tactics and techniques for targeting different species of freshwater fish

For information on Kids Fishing Day events go to:

Catch Some Excitement!

Kids ’n Fishing Photo Contest

For more information and contest rules visit