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DNR trout stockings are in high gear

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources trout stocking season is now in high gear, and is currently running Monday through Friday, weather permitting. The winter and spring stockings will run through May 31.

The trout stocking began on Jan. 2, with stockings at Blackwater River, Cranberry River, Pendleton Lake and a few others. On Jan. 3, the DNR stocked the East Fork of the Greenbrier River, Spruce Knob Lake, the West Fork of the Greenbrier River and about a dozen other streams throughout the state.

On Jan. 9, the Stuart Recreation Area of Shavers Fork was stocked and on Jan. 11 the Laural Fork in Randolph County and Shavers Fork at Bemis were stocked. Due to the inclement weather, there were no trout stockings in the Randolph County area between Jan.14-22.

Anglers need to know before they cast a line, they must have a 2019 fishing license, which includes the annual trout stamp. These licenses can be purchased online at www.wvfish.com, by calling the licensing unit at 304-558-2758, or at any of the licensing agents around the state.

Beginning in March, the trout stocking schedule will change or shift to Tuesday through Saturday. According to the DNR Fisheries Supervisor, James Hedrick, “The Saturday stockings we tried during last year’s Gold Rush were very popular, so we’re going to do it again with regular stockings once the weather warms up.

“Some of the Saturday stocking will be announced in advance, and we think this will encourage more people to get outside to fish.”

The Gold Rush is scheduled to run April 1-6. The DNR would like to ensure that families will have plenty of opportunities to participate in the event. On Saturday, April 6, the DNR is planning a big release of golden trout, which is the last day of this event. More details about the Gold Rush can be found online at www.wvgoldrush.com.

State anglers are encouraged to use the DNR’s online interactive map which provides valuable information about fishing adventures in the “Mountain State.” This map also contains information about which lakes and streams are stocked along with any special regulation pertaining to a certain location and the driving directions to a certain lake or stream. The interactive map has been upgraded to include information about lake depths and the real-time stream flow. Maps can now be downloaded for offline use or for printing.

The 2019 fishing regulations are now readily available at just about any location that sells hunting and fishing licenses. They can be picked up at the Elkins Operations Center on Ward Road and at the visitor’s center at the Elkins Railroad Depot. The 2019 fishing regulations are about the same as last year. They are located on page one just under the table of contents. The details pertaining to the changes can be found on pages 3, 5, 6 and 7. I would highly recommend that all trout fishing enthusiasts study the new regulations before going fishing.

Fishing and hunting licenses are good for the calendar year and should be purchased at the beginning of each year. Another thing to always keep in mind is that all anglers must carry a valid form of identification while fishing.

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