Leading up to the Mountain State's annual free fishing weekend June 13-14, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is stocking nearly 6,000 pounds of channel catfish in 41 ponds and lakes around the state.
Division Director Stephen McDaniel says the catfish stockings have become extremely popular across the state as trout-fishing season winds down.
"Summer catfish stockings have become really popular over the last few years, and we're excited to be giving anglers and their families another chance to catch a fish and enjoy our state's natural beauty," McDaniel said.
"Whether it's trout in the spring or catfish in the summer, our stocking program provides incredible fishing opportunities for West Virginians throughout the year."
Catfish stocking starts each year as the spring trout season winds down. It also coincides with the state's free fishing weekend, which will be June 13-14 this year, McDaniel said.
During the annual free fishing event, anglers may fish in state waters without having to first buy a fishing license, trout stamp, or national forest stamp.
Anglers should be on the lookout for some trophies, according to Jim Hedrick, program manager for the division's hatchery program.
“There are a good number of trophy-sized channel catfish in the mix this year,” Hedrick said. “We even have a few albinos out there, so anglers have a really unique opportunity to catch a white catfish."
Catfish Stocking Locations
Catfish have been stocked in ponds and lakes in each of the DNR's six districts. Stocked waters include:
Coopers Rocks Lake, Dunkard Fork Lake, Hinkle Lake, Mason Lake, Pendleton Lake, Teter Creek Lake, Tomlinson Run Lake, and Deegan Lake.
Cacapon State Park, Edwards Run Pond, Fort Ashby Lake, Parker Hollow Lake, Poorhouse Lake, and South Mill Creek Lake.
Big Ditch Lake, Camp Caesar Lake, French Creek Pond, Handley Pond, Indian Rock Lake, Seneca Lake, Wallback Lake, and Watoga Lake.
Anawalt Lake, Babcock Lake, Berwind Lake, Little Beaver State Park, Moncove Lake, Pipestem Lake, and Plum Orchard Lake.
Barboursville Lake, Chief Logan State Park, Coonskin Pond, Hurricane Lake, Krodel Lake, Laurel Lake, Lick Creek Pond, and Miller Fork Pond.
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