The W.Va. Division of National Resources is stocking trout in five state park lakes on April 22 to encourage family fishing during the Earth Day 2017 weekend.
This is the first time the division has announced in advance the date of stockings; the unique Saturday-stocking is meant to encourage families and friends to fish in state parks, according to division director Stephen McDaniel.
"Families and friends who go fishing always have a story to tell, whether it is the 'one that got away' or the 'best meal ever.' Fishing is an outdoor pursuit that is generational and can become a life sport," McDaniel said.
"This special trout stocking on Earth Day is a new opportunity for us to encourage anglers to visit our state parks while enjoying this popular activity."
The division will stock a mixture of rainbow and golden-rainbow trout in the following lakes:
- Pendleton Lake at Blackwater Falls State Park
- Cacapon Lake at Cacapon Resort State Park
- Tailwaters of North Bend Lake at North Bend State Park,
- Long Branch Lake at Pipestem Resort State Park
- Watoga Lake at Watoga State Park
Approximately 1,800 pounds, which can be well more than 2,000 fish, will be released.
Adults will be required to purchase a 2017 fishing license and a stamp for trout fishing. License purchases are available online at www.wvfish.com. Children ages 14 and younger are not required to have a license.
"We are putting out advance word on these stockings to encourage families to not only go fishing, but also to enjoy state park facilities and being outdoors," McDaniel said.
"For many people, this is a chance to see how wildlife staff stock fish. Even if you’re not an angler, the stocking procedure is impressive.”
This special Earth Day project may lead to changes in DNR’s trout stocking procedure in the future, McDaniel said.
"We’re considering scheduling more stockings on the weekends, especially near state parks, where anglers can enjoy other activities that build outdoor interests. If this project proves popular with families and youth, who are busy with work and school during the week, we may revise the stocking plan to better engage the next generation of anglers and outdoor adventurers," McDaniel said.
Anyone planning to fish on Earth Day in the five parks may want to stay in a lodge or cabin and enjoy meals at the lodge restaurants. Reservations are available online or by calling the parks directly. Watoga features cabins in a variety of styles with spring discount rates.
Trout stockings in West Virginia are made possible by wildlife biologists and fish hatchery employees. DNR conducts more than 1,400 stockings across the state annually. Information about fishing is available at www.wvdnr.gov along with stocking information, state records and license information.
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