West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and representatives from the state Division of Natural Resources today launched the West Virginia Gold Rush — the Mountain State's annual golden rainbow trout stocking initiative.
“I hope as many West Virginians as possible take advantage of the Gold Rush this year,” Justice said while visiting Babcock State Park.
“Fishing is a wonderful tradition in our state. I have so many great memories of times I went fishing with my dad, and I want all West Virginians and our visitors to have the opportunity to make the same great memories with their families.”
Babcock was chosen for today’s ceremony because it is one of 15 state parks and forests to receive the stockings.
Many state parks are offering overnight accommodations and have scheduled special programming during this special week.
During the Gold Rush, April 1-6, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is stocking golden rainbow trout in 55 designated lakes and streams throughout the state. An extra-large rainbow trout release is scheduled for the last day of the event, Saturday, April 6, to ensure families have an excellent opportunity to participate.
This is the second year of the Gold Rush. More than 40,000 goldens will be released during the six-day period, topping last year’s total by 5,000.
“Our hope is that this special week will get people, especially children and new anglers, excited about trout fishing by giving them a good opportunity to catch this popular fish,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “Thanks to the efforts of our trout hatcheries staff, we are able to deliver this event again with more trout, more locations and more chances to strike gold.”
All anglers age 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license with a current trout stamp and a valid form of identification while fishing. A West Virginia fishing license can be purchased at approximately 180 retail agents around the state or online at wvfish.com.
Introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration, the golden rainbow trout is prized by anglers young and old for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. For more than 50 years, golden rainbows have provided a special experience for anglers who have been lucky enough to catch them.
Video of today’s Gold Rush event can be found here.