HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Peak fishing season is almost here, and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is preparing.
Each year, from October through May over one-million trout are grown at hatcheries, then are spread out over 180 waterways throughout the commonwealth.
“We stock three different species of trout in the state,” Brad Fink, fisheries biologist for DWR, said . “Brook trout, which is our native trout, we also stock rainbow trout and brown trout, depending on the waterbody.”
Fink says stocking water with trout makes fishing a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
“You can be a beginning angler, or an experienced angler, and have a good opportunity to catch trout,” Fink said. “And it’s a great experience to take somebody new fishing since the trout are easier to catch than some of the wild trout and other species in the state.”
Stocking efforts take a lot of planning, and can certainly come with challenges.
“We had a lot of snow and ice,” Fink said. “That makes for slippery roads, slippery banks, it’s dangerous for the hatchery staff. And of course flooding: if the water’s too high we can’t get to some locations to stock as well.”
Now that the weather is getting warmer, DWR is ramping up it’s stocking efforts for the spring, and Fink says there will be a lot of fish in the waters soon.
A reminder, in order to fish in Virginia, you need a freshwater fishing license. If you plan to fish in trout stocked waters, you will also need a specific trout license as well.
For more information, visit https://dwr.virginia.gov/fishing/trout-stocking-schedule/