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West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV!
West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV!
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Favorite Fishing Waters



Best small mouth bass waters
Summersville and Tygart Lakes; New, Shenandoah, Greenbrier, Cacapon, South Branch of the Potomac, mainstream Potomac, Ohio River upstream of New Martinsville, Elk, and Little Kanawha rivers. Favorite tackle and baits--Spinning tackle of medium light and ultra light weight using spinners and other artificial lures resembling minnows, night crawlers, hellgrammites, crayfish, crank baits, rubber grubs, jigs, and numerous topwater baits.

Fishing for Everyone
Best trout streams
Cranberry, Williams, South Branch of the Potomac near Franklin, North Fork of the South Branch, Shavers Fork of Cheat, and Elk River above Webster Springs.

Best muskie waters
Little Kanawha, Hughes, Elk (downstream of Sutton), Buckhannon, West Fork, Mud, New, Gauley, and Monongahela rivers; Middle Island, Dunkard, Mill and Sandy creeks; East Lynn, Stonecoal, Stonewall Jackson and Burnsville Lakes. Favorite tackle and baits--Bait casting reels using lures imitating minnows; large spinners. Live creek chubs, suckers, or large minnows are excellent bait.

Best crappie waters
Bluestone, Burnsville, East Lynn, R.D. Bailey, Stonewall Jackson, Sutton, Summersville, and Tygart lakes. Favorite baits--Minnows, jigs, and lures imitating minnows.

Best walleye waters
Elk and lower Gauley rivers; Kanawha, Monongahela, and Ohio River dam tailwaters; Summersville, Tygart, Stonecoal, Jennings Randolph and R.D. Bailey lakes. Best baits--Live minnows and night crawlers are best natural baits. Best artificial baits are jigs, minnow-imitating crank baits and spinners.

Best white bass waters
Ohio and Kanawha rivers; Tygart Lake. Best baits-Jigs, crank baits, spinners, streamers, and live minnows.

Best hybrid striped bass waters
Ohio and Kanawha rivers; Beech Fork, Bluestone, East Lynn, and R.D. Bailey lake. Best baits--White jigs, silver spoons, shad imitation lures, and live minnows.

Best largemouth bass waters
Burnsville, Beech Fork, East Lynn, Bluestone, Sutton, R.D. Bailey, and Stonewall Jackson lakes; Ohio River backwaters; most farm ponds and state managed lakes; Best baits--minnows, nightcrawlers, crayfish, crank baits, spinner baits, rubber worms and jigs, and most topwater lures.

Best channel catfish waters
Bluestone, East Lynn, Burnsville, Stonecoal, Tygart, and Stonewall Jackson lakes; South Branch of the Potomac, Kanawha, New, and Ohio rivers. Most warm water streams and state managed impoundments. Best baits--minnows, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and natural baits.

GAME FISH DEFINED The following are game fish: brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, golden rainbow trout, black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted), striped bass, pickerel, muskellunge, northern pike, tiger musky, sauger, walleye, white bass, rock bass, crappie, bluegill, other sunfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and all game fish hybrids.

COMSUMPTION ADVISORY
Meal Advice For Eating West Virginia Game Fish

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises anglers and consumers to follow a national advisory warning pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, nursing mothers and children about the health concerns of consuming fish that may be contaminated with mercury. These groups should follow EPA's recommendation limiting fish consumption to one meal per week. Meal size is 1/2 pound.

Click here for cleaning and filleting instructions.

Click here for more information on consumption advisories from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

OHIO RIVER

Advisory Area Fish Species Advisory
Ohio River Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass, Sauger One meal per week
Ohio River Walleye less than 17 inches One meal per week
Ohio River Walleye greater than 17 inches One meal per month
Ohio River White bass, Hybrid Striped bass, Freshwater Drum One meal per week
Ohio River All Flathead Catfish and channel catfish less than 17 inches One meal every 2 months
Ohio River Channel Catfish greater than 17 inches and all carp Do not eat
Kanawha River from I-64 bridge in Dunbar downstream to the Ohio River Carp, Catfish, suckers, hybrid striped bass Do not eat
Kanawha River from I-64 bridge in Dunbar downstream to the Ohio River All other fish not mentioned above One meal per month
Pocatallico River - Lower two miles Carp, Catfish, suckers, hybrid striped bass Do not eat
Pocatallico River - Lower two miles All other fish at this location One meal per month
Armour, Manila, Heizer creeks and other backwater areas of Kanawha River Carp, Catfish, suckers, hybrid striped bass Do not eat
Armour, Manila, Heizer creeks and other backwater areas of Kanawha River All other fish at this location One meal per month
Shenandoah River (entire length in WV) Carp, channel catfish, suckers Do not eat
Shenandoah River (entire length in WV) All other fish at this location One meal per month
Potomac River (South Branch of Potomac River to mouth of Cacapon River) All nongame fish Do not eat
North Branch of Potomac River (Luke, MD to mouth) All nongame fish Do not eat
Flat Fork Creek (entire length) Carp, channel catfish, suckers Do not eat


Water Fish Species
Kanawha River (Coal River to Point Pleasant) Carp, catfish, suckers
Pocatalico River (Manila Creek to mouth) Carp, catfish, suckers
Armour Creek (lower 2 miles) Carp, catfish, suckers
Flat Fork Creek (entire length) Carp, channel catfish, suckers
Shenandoah River (entire length in West Virginia) Carp, channel catfish, suckers
North Branch of Potomac River (Luke, MD to mouth) All non-game fish
Potomac River (South Branch of Potomac River to mouth of Cacapon River) All non-game fish



South Branch Float Trips
From To Distance (Miles)
Mouth of North Fork Petersburg Bridge 4.5
Petersburg Bridge Petersburg Gap Bridge 3
Petersburg Gap Bridge Fisher Bridge South 5.5
Fisher Bridge South Fisher Bridge 2.5
Fisher Bridge Old Fields Bridge 4.5
Old Fields Bridge Trough Entrance (RR Bridge) 5
Trough Entrance (RR Bridge) Glebe 6.25
Glebe Hampshire Park (Mouth Mill Run) 7
Hampshire Park (Mouth Mill Run) Romney Bridge 3.25
Romney Bridge Wapocomo (Hanging Rock) 5
Wapocomo (Hanging Rock) Grace (Blue Beach Bridge) 5
Grace (Blue Beach Bridge) Millesons Mill 7.5
Millesons Mill New Bridge 2.5
New Bridge Blue Ford 4.75
Blue Ford Indian Rock 4
Indian Rock Mouth 4.5

Capacon River Float Trips
From To Distance (Miles)
Wardensville Capon Lake 4.25
Capon Lake Yellow Springs 4.25
Yellow Springs Where road leaves river above Hooks Mill 4.5
Where road leaves river above Hooks Mill Capon Bridge 7
Capon Bridge Cold Stream 3.8
Cold Stream Rt. 45 Bridge 7
Rt. 45 Bridge Largent 16.5
Largent Rt. 9 Bridge 8
Rt. 9 Bridge Dam-Power Plant 9

Greenbrier River Float Trips
From To Distance (Miles)
Renick Anthony Bridge 10
Anthony Bridge Caldwell 12.7
Caldwell Ronceverte 6
Ronceverte Fort Spring 8.5
Fort Spring* Alderson 6
Alderson Pence Springs 8.5
Pence Springs Talcott Bridge 4.5
Talcott Bridge** Barger Springs 4.5
Barger Springs Willow Wood Bridge 6
* Contains rapids for experienced canoeists only.
** Contains two falls to be portaged.

New River Float Trips
From To Distance (Miles)
Shanklins Ferry Mouth of Indian Creek 6
Below Sandstone Falls Prince 12
Prince Thurmond 12


Only experienced canoeists should attempt to float the New River. Portaging some areas will be necessary.



Gigging, Snagging, & Snaring
Suckers, carp, fallfish and creek chubs may be taken by snaring year-round. Other non-game fish, turtles, and eels may be taken by gigging, snagging, or snaring from January 1 through May 15 and from July 15 through December 31, except that snagging and gigging shall be prohibited within 100 feet of all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Locks and Dams and their appurtenances.

Dipping
Dipping for non-game fish is legal from February 1 to midnight April 30. A dip net may not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in overall area, and its mesh may not be smaller than one-fourth (1/4) inch.

Bow Fishing
Carp may be taken by bow year-round. Other non-game fish may be taken by bow during all months of the year except May and June. Residents must have a valid fishing license and nonresidents must have a valid hunting license in order to fish using a bow. All persons using a bow to fish must observe all applicable fishing regulations. It is illegal to use an arrow having an explosive head or shaft or an arrow dipped in or smeared with poison or other chemicals while bow fishing.

Trotlines & Droplines
Trotlines and droplines must be attached to the bank or a tree thereon, must bear an identification tag that is legible and waterproof, and must be attended every twenty-four (24) hours. Wire or cable lines and hooks with more than one point are prohibited. It is illegal to fish with trotlines and droplines in State managed impoundments except Stonecoal, Hawks Nest, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes. It is illegal to attach a trotline to public piers and docks or within fifty (50) feet of dam appurtenances. Droplines are prohibited on the Elk River, Hughes River, Little Kanawha River, Middle Island Creek, and South Fork of Hughes River.

Seining for Minnows - Minnow Traps
Game fish may not be seined or trapped. A seine may be used to obtain minnows for use as bait provided the seine is not longer than six (6) feet nor deeper than four (4) feet. A thrownet may be used provided the diameter is no larger than six (6) feet and mesh size no larger than three-eighths (3/8) inch. Minnow traps may be used provided the openings are not larger than one (1) inch in diameter. A person may have in his possession no more than 50 minnows nor more than a total of 100 aquatic animal life unless obtained from a licensed dealer and a bill of sale is provided. Possession of mussels or any parts thereof is prohibited.

Illegal Methods
It is illegal to use a firearm, a crossbow, dynamite or any like explosive, or a poisonous mixture placed in the water for the purpose of killing or taking fish, frogs, aquatic turtles, or other forms of aquatic life. It is illegal to fish with more than 2 lines or poles in an impoundment stocked with trout by the DNR from January 1 through May 31.

Hatchery Fish Removal
It is illegal to take fish, frogs, aquatic turtles, or other aquatic life from a State fish hatchery.
Fishing Areas
Fishing Streams
Stocking Report





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