CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice announced earlier this month that, at his request, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources would stock 30,000 trout in streams around the state so anglers and their families can enjoy fishing opportunities during the holiday season.
“As a lifelong fisherman myself, I’m very proud of all we’re doing to bring this incredible pastime to more and more West Virginians of all ages,” Gov. Justice said. “I’ve probably been in just about every stream in this state, and I can tell you there’s almost nothing more peaceful and enjoyable than a day spent fishing in Almost Heaven West Virginia. This holiday trout stocking is a wonderful opportunity for our families to make some new memories during this special time of year. I urge everyone who loves the outdoors to get out and catch some great fish.”
This special stocking included over 15,000 pounds of trout at 15 streams across the state. WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel said the special stockings follow a great production year that resulted in an abundance of trout at the state’s hatcheries.
“Stocking these fish is not only a gift to anglers in West Virginia, but it will give us more space at our hatcheries to raise even bigger fish for the spring 2021 stocking season,” McDaniel said. “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to our hatchery staff for giving up holiday time off to make this special stocking possible. I’d also like to thank Gov. Justice for his continued support of our stocking program and for all the improvements he’s pushed through over the last few years. He has been a true champion for fishing in West Virginia.”
Holiday Trout Stocking Locations: Blackwater River; Cranberry River; Elk River; Elk River (Catch and Release); Lower Shavers Fork; North Fork of South Branch; North Fork of South Branch (Catch and Release); Opequeon Creek; Paint Creek (Catch and Release); RD Bailey Tailwaters; South Branch Smokehole; South Branch Smokehole (Catch and Release); Upper Shavers Fork; Williams River; Williams River (Catch and Release).
Last April, Gov. Justice directed the WVDNR to improve its trout stocking methods by spreading out over longer sections of streams, allowing fish to be available to anglers at many new and exciting locations.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Justice provided free fishing opportunities to West Virginia residents by dropping the requirement to possess a fishing license for several months. Gov. Justice also directed the WVDNR to implement additional improvements to its fall trout stocking method and add more lakes and streams to the stocking schedule.
Most recently, Gov. Justice announced a lifetime license giveaway promotion for West Virginians who purchase their 2021 hunting and fishing licenses in December.
Anglers are encouraged to maintain a safe physical distance from stocking personnel, other anglers, and park guests. In addition to stocking locations, nearby West Virginia state parks, forests, and public lands provide socially distanced places for outdoor activities.
All anglers age 15 and older are required to have a fishing license, trout stamp, and valid form of identification while fishing for trout. To learn more about West Virginia’s fishing regulations, visit wvdnr.gov. To purchase a fishing license and trout stamp, visit wvfish.com.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.