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Virginia

Fishing

Fishing

Director's Message

Director's Photo

Greetings Virginia Anglers and Boaters,

I hope that you caught plenty of fish in 2021 and that your 2022 season is even more productive.

Our FishLocalVA initiative is underway and provides a great way for you to get outdoors and catch some fish, no matter where you live. Take a look at our website, at https://dwr.virginia.gov/fishing/fish-local/, to find out which FishLocalVA waters are in your neighborhood. In addition to great fishing opportunities, most FishLocalVA waters have other amenities such as hiking trails and picnic areas — and this information can be found at each water’s page. So, plan your trip and get the whole family outdoors for the day!

DWR’s annual freshwater Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 3–5, 2022 — on these days, you don’t need a license to fish in nearly all freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers in Virginia, with the exception of our Fee Fishing Areas. These days are a great time to take a friend or a family member out fishing and to connect them to the outdoors. If you are learning to fish or haven’t fished before, DWR will be leading fishing workshops across the state and will have tackle, bait, and instructors on site. It’s a great way to get into the sport of fishing.

On another note, I want to call your attention to a great resource we have in Virginia — Saugeye — a cross between a walleye and a sauger that does well in Virginia’s reservoirs. Saugeye are stocked in Lake Chesdin, Little Creek Reservoir, Flannagan Reservoir, Philpott Reservoir and Leesville Lake, and the Appomattox River has a strong population. Currently, the state record for saugeye is open, and recent surveys have caught several saugeye that exceed the 6 lb. minimum required for state record status. Get out there this year and try your luck — you may find yourself with a record fish! See Fish Identification for information about how to catch saugeye.

And, if you are looking for fishing tips, check out our YouTube page to see monthly fishing videos that highlight various tactics and techniques to catch a variety of different fish species. These videos are aimed to raise your awareness of public access at DWR-owned and/or managed fisheries in addition to providing tips that will help you find and catch fish on the water!

Good luck this season, and I’ll see you on the water.

Ryan J. Brown

Executive Director