Strike Gold During Gold Rush 2023

The highly anticipated Gold Rush season will soon make its return to the Mountain State for the sixth year in a row. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will release over 50,000 golden rainbow trout into lakes and streams throughout the state. Gold rush grants anglers from all across the country a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reel in this magnificent, prized catch between March 28 and April 8, 2023.

What are golden trout?

The golden rainbow trout is best known for its unmistakable, glowing yellow color. These fish were selectively and successfully bred by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists over several years and first introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration. Native to West Virginia, the golden trout has become a popular sport fish that continues to reel in anglers from all over the country decades later.

Where can I catch one?

Featuring over 60 different stocking locations, you’re sure to find a rushing river or steady stream near you. From wide-open lakes calling your name to babbling brooks begging you to cast a line, West Virginia welcomes you to come and celebrate Gold Rush this year.

Visit Summers County and test your shot at catching a golden trout at Longbranch Lake. Situated near Pipestem Resort State Park, this gem boasts beautiful views of the Appalachian Mountains as well as additional activity and lodging options. Check out Spruce Knob Lake in Randolph County, just west of the state’s highest point. Here you’ll find camping and picnicking spots as well as a boating site. Or head on down to southern West Virginia in hopes to bait your prize and discover R.D. Bailey Tailwaters, a gorgeous lake nestled within rugged terrain. For the complete list of stocking locations, click here.

Almost Heaven Prizes

Out of the 50,000 stocked golden trout, 100 fish will have specially marked, numbered tags. Find yourself fortunate enough to reel in a fish with a numbered tag and enter to win one of four prizes.

This year five lucky winners will win the grand prize of a free West Virginia Lifetime Fishing License. Other prizes up for grabs include a one-night cabin stays at a West Virginia state park or forest, West Virginia State Parks gift cards and exclusive 2023 Gold Rush merch.

How can I participate?

Get out on our majestic waters and take part in the excitement! All you need is a valid West Virginia fishing license and trout stamp.

This post was last updated on March 21, 2023