W.Va. announces return of trout stockings, new fishing regulations

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W.Va. announces return of trout stockings, new fishing regulations
An angler casts into a stream. Trout fishing is perennially popular across West Virginia. (Photo by Greyson Johnson)

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va.—West Virginia has announced the publication of updated 2023-2024 fishing regulations and the return of trout stockings to lakes and streams around the state.

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Brett McMillion, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, emphasized that stocking trout helps support state initiatives to protect and build on outdoor recreation.

“Trout stocking in West Virginia is just one of the ways we contribute to the preservation and enhancement of our natural resources while also providing a fun and exciting outdoor activity for folks of all ages to enjoy,” McMillion said.

“Our state’s beautiful lakes, streams, and rivers are a true treasure, and we hope first-time and experienced anglers alike can get out and cast a line this year.”

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Trout stockings officially returned on Jan. 3 with stockings to the Greenbrier River near Marlinton, James P. Bailey Lake, Larenim Park Lake, and the Williams River.

While daily trout stockings are not announced in advance, the state publishes a list of recently stocked waters at . Anglers may also find out what waters have been stocked by calling the stocking hotline at 304-558-3399.

In inclement weather, missed stockings are made up by either additional stocking runs or additional fish added to upcoming stocking events.

For a complete list of stocking locations and frequency of stockings, anglers should consult pages 14 and 15 of the 2023 West Virginia Fishing Regulations Summary, available to download at .

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West Virginia publishes 2023 Fishing Regulations

West Virginia’s updated fishing regulations for 2023 went into effect on Jan. 1 and included changes to regulations regarding delayed harvest and catch-and-release waters.

The upper Guyandotte and all tributaries in Wyoming County, Barkers Creek and tributaries in Wyoming County, and Elkhorn Creek and tributaries in McDowell County were all placed under catch-and-release regulations.

The delayed harvest regulation was modified to be catch-and-release from Nov. 1 to May 15 and general regulations from May 16 to Oct. 31. Delayed harvest sections were established on Paint Creek in Fayette County, Williams River in Pocahontas County, and Shaver's Fork in Randolph County. To learn more about these changes, see page 1 of the Fishing Regulations Summary.

All anglers 15 years and older must have a West Virginia fishing license, a trout stamp, and a valid form of identification while fishing for trout. Licenses and stamps can be purchased at 175 retail locations or .

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To learn more about fishing opportunities and trout stockings in West Virginia, visit .

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