West Virginia DNR stocks trout for fishing enthusiasts

Overview of the WV DNR Trout Stocking Program

WV DNR Trout Stocking

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WV DNR) is responsible for managing and stocking the state's rivers, streams, and lakes with trout. Each year, the WV DNR stocks approximately 1 million trout and operates 43 fish hatcheries alongside two regional hatcheries and one trout research center. With such a vast program in place, anglers in West Virginia have the opportunity to fish many stocked waters throughout the state.

The trout stocking program is designed to provide quality angling opportunities for residents and visitors alike, while also promoting the conservation of the state's natural resources for future generations. The program is funded by license fees, Trout Stamp sales, and federal matching funds.

The WV DNR offers different types of trout stockings throughout the year. The spring stocking is the most popular, with the agency stocking over 900,000 rainbow, brown, and golden trout from March to May. The state also offers a fall stocking program, which is equally important for anglers seeking year-round fishing opportunities.

The WV DNR uses a variety of methods to stock trout, including “put and take” stocking, where catchable-sized trout are released immediately to provide an easy fishing experience. The state also stocks larger fish, which require anglers to use specialized gear and fly-fishing techniques. Some streams are managed as “catch and release” streams, where only artificial lures are allowed, and no fish are retained. All stocked trout are raised in WV DNR hatcheries and are purchased from out-of-state hatcheries at a cost of approximately $1 per fish.

One of the WV DNR's main goals is to provide high-quality fishing experiences to a diverse population of anglers. To achieve this goal, the agency stocks urban areas, provides access to ADA-compliant waters, and manages special-needs fishing events. The state also works closely with the license-buying public to make informed decisions regarding the management of fisheries and angling opportunities.

In conclusion, the WV DNR trout stocking program is a vital component of West Virginia's thriving fishing industry. With over 1 million trout stocked annually, anglers from all over can enjoy the state's stunning scenic beauty while casting their lines in one of the many fantastic fishing locations on offer.

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