Now is the time for serious anglers to think about getting their fishing gear ready for action. With all of the inclement weather we had in the month of February, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has been able to stock some of the lakes and streams in this generalized area.
These places include: Blackwater River (Tucker County); Buckhannon River (Upshur County); Cacapon Lake (Morgan County); Clover Run (Tucker); Curtisville Lake (Marion County); Dry Fork (Randolph/Tucker); French Creek Pond (Upshur); Gandy Creek (Randolph); Glady Fork (Randolph) Hills Creek (Pocahontas); Horseshoe Run (Tucker); Knapps Creek (Pocahontas); Little Kanawha Headwaters (Lewis County/Upshur); Mason Lake (Monongalia County); Mill Creek Lake (Barbour County); Shavers Fork at Bemis (Randolph); Spruce Knob Lake (Randolph); Right Fork of Little Kanawha (Upshur/Webster County); Teter Creek Lake (Barbour); Thomas Park Lake (Tucker); Tygart Lake Headwaters (Taylor County); Tygart Lake Tailwaters (Taylor); and Watoga Lake (Pocahontas).
I have been told by a few anglers that some real beauties have been stocked in Mill Creek Lake, which is really the Belington Reservoir. Several years ago, a well-informed person told me the water quality of this small 8-acre lake is superb.
Another lake in this area where the water is of high quality is Spruce Knob Lake. This 23-acre impoundment is located in Monongahela National Forest near the junction of Randolph, Pendleton and Pocahontas counties. This lake is stocked with trout once in January, twice in February, weekly March through May, and twice in October. In elevation, this is the highest lake in West Virginia. The water generally stays clear; but during some of the summer, plankton blooms and other organic matter sometimes gives the water a brownish tint.
There are three wheelchair-accessible wooden fishing stations. Night fishing is permitted, but the use of live minnows is prohibited. Facilities include 43 campsites, pit toilets and drinking water. There are no sewer or electric hook-ups.
I have only been to this lake one time, and I did not fish for very long because I was not properly dressed for the cold temperatures and wind. I think I spent more time driving to and from this location than I did fishing.
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About a month ago, I received a few copies of the official 2014-2015 West Virginia Highway Map. These are distributed free by the Department of Highways. On these new maps are some of the new Wildlife Management Areas that have not been on past road maps. Some of these new areas include: Becky's Creek WMA, Huttonsville State Farm WMA, Valley Bend Wetland in Randolph County, Allegheny WMA in Mineral County, and several others. The West Virginia Division of Highways is to be commended for providing this service for the sportsmen and women in West Virginia. These maps are readily available at the Visitors Center located at the old railroad depot in downtown Elkins.
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This past Tuesday, my wife Ruth and I attended the Mountaineer Chapter Izaak Walton League Oyster Feed held before this month's meeting. The attendance was larger than the monthly average. To make a long story short, everything was scrumptious. There was plenty of enthusiasm from everyone in attendance. I would like to see this same attendance and enthusiasm at all of the chapter's monthly dinner/meetings and activities.