To celebrate Earth Day falling on a Saturday this year, the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) will stock trout in five West Virginia state park lakes on Apr. 22. This is the first time DNR is announcing in advance the date of trout stockings. DNR is planning this unique Saturday stocking to encourage anglers and their families and friends to go fishing in state parks.
“Families and friends who go fishing always have a story to tell. Whether it is the one that got away or the best meal ever, fishing is an outdoor pursuit that is generational and can become a life sport,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “This special trout stocking on Earth Day is a new opportunity for us to encourage anglers to visit our state parks while enjoying this popular activity.”
DNR will stock a mixture of rainbow and golden rainbow trout at Pendleton Lake at Blackwater Falls, Cacapon Lake at Cacapon State Park, the tail waters of North Bend Lake at North Bend State Park, Long Branch Lake at Pipestem State Park and Watoga State Park’s Watoga Lake. Approximately 1,800 pounds, which can be well over 2,000 fish, will be released into the lakes.
Adults are required to purchase a 2017 fishing license and a stamp for trout fishing. License purchases are available online at www.wvfish.com. Children 14 and younger are not required to have a license.
“We are putting out advance word on these stockings to encourage families to not only go fishing, but also to enjoy state park facilities and being outdoors,” McDaniel said. “For many people, this is a chance to see how wildlife staff stock fish. Even if you’re not an angler, the stocking procedure is impressive.”
This special Earth Day project may lead to changes in DNR’s trout stocking procedure in the future, McDaniel said.
”We’re considering scheduling more stockings on the weekends, especially near state parks, where anglers can enjoy other activities that build outdoor interests. If this project proves popular with families and youth who are busy with work and school during the week, we may revise the stocking plan to better engage the next generation of anglers and outdoor adventurers,” McDaniel said.
Anyone planning to fish on Earth Day at Blackwater Falls, Cacapon, North Bend and Pipestem State Parks may want to stay in a lodge or cabin and enjoy meals at the lodge restaurants. Reservations are available online or by calling the parks directly. Watoga features cabins in a variety of styles with spring discount rates.
Trout stockings in West Virginia are made possible by wildlife biologists and fish hatchery employees. DNR conducts more than 1,400 stockings across the state annually. Information about fishing is available at www.wvdnr.gov along with stocking information, state records and license information.