Licenses & Regulations for Fishing

Great things continue to happen in West Virginia’s fish management program. Anglers in West Virginia enjoy some of the best fishing in the east because of the hard work of our fishery personnel.

Coldwater Stockings

West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) hosts a coldwater program that centers around an aggressive stocking program and effort to bring anglers some of the best catches on the East Coast. Last year alone, the WVNDR stocked 850,000 catchable trout in 110 streams, 72 impoundments and nine reservoir tail waters. The average size of these trout were 12.5 inches long and 0.8 pounds!

Stockings take place Tuesday through Saturday from March to May each year.

Warmwater Stockings

The WVDNR’s warmwater program works to stock fingerling Blue Catfish in West Virginia’s navigable rivers. Anglers now catch trophy-size blues in the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. The native walleye restoration program continues to provide trophy fish in waters around the state. Muskie have been called the fish of a thousand casts, but you can expect greater success in West Virginia. Stocking of advanced fingerlings in the state’s reservoirs has produced outstanding fisheries in Burnsville, Stonecoal, North Bend and Stonewall Jackson lakes.


Each spring, the WVDNR stocks over 50,000 golden trout in lakes and streams across the state during the West Virginia Gold Rush giving anglers the chance to reel in a prized golden rainbow trout. Golden rainbow trout were selectively and successfully bred by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists over several years and introduced to the public in 1963. The West Virginia golden rainbow trout, unmistakable by its bright-yellow color continues to be a popular sport fish by anglers young and old.

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