There’s nothing quite as peaceful as standing on the banks of a river, fishing your worries away. Crystal waters and colorful catches await. Find a fishing hole near you. 

West Virginia Gold Rush

Each year, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources plans a special week of stockings, all around the native Golden Rainbow Trout. These special stockings have turned into a sought-after annual event in West Virginia. During the Gold Rush event, 50,000 golden rainbow trout are released at more than 60 lakes and streams around the state, including several state parks. Gold Rush is the perfect opportunity to cast a line and catch the treasured golden rainbow trout, introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing or enjoy a relaxing angler’s getaway. 

About the Golden Rainbow Trout

West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout is prized by anglers young and old for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. These fish were selectively and successfully bred by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists over several years and introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration. Ever since, West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout has been a popular sport fish, reeling in anglers from all over the country.

Fishing License

A fishing license with a current trout stamp is your ticket to catching West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout. All anglers age 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license and a valid form of identification while fishing. Licenses are good for the calendar year, and it is recommended they be purchased at the beginning of each year. Resident anglers may also purchase a five-day license. One-day licenses are available for non-resident anglers.

A West Virginia fishing license can be purchased at approximately 160 retail agents around the state or online at wvfish.com. Additionally, all anglers must follow West Virginia’s fishing regulations, which can be found online at WVdnr.gov.

Stocking Locations – Updated Annually


Anawalt LakeLongbranch Lake
Barboursville LakeMason Lake
Bear RocksMill Creek Reservoir
Berwind LakeMountwood
Boley LakeNew Creek Lake
Brandywine LakePendleton Lake
Buffalo Fork LakePoorhouse Pond
Cacapon LakeRock Cliff Lake
Castlemans Run LakeRockhouse Lake
Cedar Creek LakeRollins Lake
Chief Logan State Park PondsSeneca Lake
Coopers Rock LakeSouth Mill Creek Lake
Curtisville LakeSummit
Deegan LakeTeter Creek
Edwards Run WMAThomas Park Lake
Fort Ashby ReservoirTomlinson Run Lake
French Creek Pond (WV State Wildlife Center)Tuckahoe Lake
Hinkle LakeWallback Lake
Kimsey Run LakeWatoga Lake
Little Beaver LakeWarden WMA


Blackwater RiverShavers Fork (Lower)
Burnsville (Tailwaters)Shavers Fork (Upper)
Cranberry RiverSouth Branch Franklin)
Elk RiverSouth Branch (Smokehole)
Greenbrier River (Cass)Stonewall Resort State Park (Tailwaters)
Greenbrier River (Durbin)Sutton (Tailwaters)
North Bend State Park Lake (Tailwaters)Tygart Lake State Park (Tailwaters)
North RiverWheeling Creek
Opequon CreekWilliams River
R.D. Bailey (Tailwaters)

 Top 9 Favorite Fishing Waters

1. Best largemouth bass waters

Burnsville, Cheat, East Lynn, Bluestone, Sutton, R.D. Bailey, and Stonewall Jackson lakes; Ohio River backwaters, Elk Fork Lake, and Woodrum Lake.

2. Best smallmouth bass waters

Summersville and Tygart Lakes; New, Shenandoah, Greenbrier, Cacapon, South Branch of the Potomac, mainstream Potomac, Ohio River upstream of New Martinsville, Elk, and Little Kanawha rivers.

3. Best trout streams

Cranberry, Williams, South Branch of the Potomac near Franklin, North Fork of the South Branch, Shavers Fork of Cheat, and Elk River above Webster Springs.

4. Best musky waters

Middle Island Creek, Little Kanawha River, Buckhannon River, Elk River, Hughes River, South Fork Hughes River, Stonecoal Lake, Stonewall Jackson Lake, West Fork River, Burnsville Lake, Tygart River, Sandy Creek, Mud River, McElroy Creek, North Fork Hughes River, Dunkard Creek, Mill Creek, Pocatalico River, West Fork of the Little Kanawha River, and Leading Creek.

5. Best crappie waters

Bluestone, Burnsville, East Lynn, R.D. Bailey, Stonewall Jackson, Sutton, Summersville, and Tygart lakes.

6. Best walleye waters

Elk and lower Gauley rivers; Kanawha, Monongahela, and Ohio River dam tailwaters; Summersville, Tygart, Stonecoal, Jennings Randolph and R.D. Bailey lakes.

7. Best white bass waters

Ohio, Monongahela and Kanawha rivers; Tygart Lake.

8. Best hybrid striped bass waters

Ohio and Kanawha rivers; Beech Fork, Bluestone, East Lynn, and R.D. Bailey lake.

9. Best channel catfish waters

Bluestone, East Lynn, Burnsville, Stonecoal, Tygart, and Stonewall Jackson lakes; South Branch of the Potomac, Kanawha, New, and Ohio rivers.

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