|Toilet Facilities at Smith Mountain and Leesville Lakes Boat Access Closed (Smith Mountain Lake)The toilet facilities at the Smith Mountain and Leesville Lakes boat accesses managed by DWR in cooperation with AEP are closed due to the COVID pandemic until further notice. They are Hardy Ford, Hales Ford, Scruggs, Oak Grove, Penhook, Anthony Ford, Myers Creek, Leesville Dam, and Leesville Tailrace. This does not affect the boat ramps, parking, and fishing opportunities at these locations which remain open for public use.|
|All CWD Mandatory Sampling is Cancelled for 2020 Due to COVID-19 (Chronic Wasting Disease)All CWD Mandatory Sampling is Cancelled for 2020 Due to COVID-19.|
|Urban Trout Stockings (Daily Trout Stocking Schedule)|
- Locust Shade Park (Prince William): Thursday, January 21, 2021
|Bow Fishing on Hog Island WMA (Hog Island)Bow Fishing will not be permitted on Hog Island WMA until further notice. This action is to avoid foot traffic near sensitive new infrastructure. We will evaluate the potential to reopen the area to bow fishing in the coming years.|
|Hog Island WMA Waterfowl Quota Hunt #101 – No Standby Drawing (Hog Island)Due to COVID-19 precautions, no standby drawing will be conducted.|
|Chandler’s Mill Pond Drawdown (Chandler's Mill Pond)In the early morning hours of November 12th, Chandler's Mill Pond in Montross, along with much of Virginia, was subject to extreme rainfall as moisture from Tropical Storm Eta collided with a cold front moving in from the west. The total rainfall from this storm likely exceeded 6 inches over the pond. This resulted in the overtopping of the dam and flooding across Rt 3, resulting in a closure of this roadway.
Responding to reports of the rising water, DWR Conservation Police Officers accessed the dam and opened the flood gates, allowing the dam to draw down. DWR staff remained on site to monitor the dam until conditions were deemed stable. Monitoring continued over the next few days and DWR Engineering staff inspected the dam, finding that while there are a few small areas of erosion in need of repair, the structure remains structurally sound and without any failure of the dam.
To allow staff time to assess the flooding event and ensure maximum safety, DWR has decided to fully drawdown Chandler's Mill Pond for the time being. This will enable a thorough review of the dam's performance during the storm and inform potential adjustments that may further improve dam safety at this site. Following these assessments and adjustments the pond will be reflooded.|
|Fort A.P. Hill Closed to Recreational Access (Fort A.P. Hill Ponds and Lakes)Fort A.P. Hill is temporarily closed to recreational access. At this point, there is no timetable for reopening to the general public. Call A.P. Hill at (804) 633-8984 for more information or updates.|
|Clarkton Bridge Boat Landing Permanently Closed (Clarkton Bridge)Clarkton Bridge Boat Landing, located just off Rt. 620 (Clarkton Bridge Road), in Charlotte County has been permanently closed to public access. Boaters are encouraged to use the DGIF Boat Landing located off US 501 at Brookneal or the Watkins Bridge Boat Landing on Rt. 746 north of Clover.|
|Fluvanna Ruritan Lake Boat Ramp Closed (Ruritan Lake)The Fluvanna - Ruritan Lake boat ramp will be closed beginning October 8, 2018, until further notice.|
|Low Water Conditions at Osborne Pike Landing (Osborne Pike Landing)Boaters are advised that low water conditions due to silting-in may exist, especially at low tide. Please use caution when launching or retrieving at this facility and monitor tides closely.|
|Exercise Caution When Navigating Greenvale Creek (Greenvale Creek)Boaters are advised that the U.S. Coast Guard has determined that due to extreme shoaling Greenvale Creek in Lancaster County is no longer considered a navigable waterway. Consequently the Coast Guard has removed all navigational markers. Boaters should exercise caution when attempting to navigate Greenvale Creek and should be particularly aware of tides.|
|Mill Creek Boat Access Closure (Mill Creek)Mill Creek landing is back open. Due to continually changing site conditions, shoaling of sand may occur leading to navigation issue during low tide conditions. Boaters should continue to use caution during launching and retrieving.|
|Changes in Parking at Whitethorne Boating Access (Whitethorne)Please note that parking is only allowed in the DGIF parking lot adjacent to the boat ramp. Because of safety concerns, parking on railroad property on the opposite side of the tracks is prohibited. DGIF is working to secure additional overflow parking arrangements. Please respect private property and comply with posted regulations.|
|Lawnes Creek Boat Ramp Advisory (Lawnes Creek)The boat launch at Lawnes Creek has been reopened. The launching pier remains out of service. Boaters are urged to use caution.|
|Ancarrow’s Landing – Mud and Debris (Ancarrow's Landing)Mud and debris may be present on ramp and walkways. Use caution when launching and retrieving.|
|Use Extreme Caution at Boat Ramps in the Coastal Plain (Public Boating Access)Due to heavy rains and flood waters, boaters are urged to use extreme caution at Department ramps in the Coastal Plain. Parking lots may be flooded and river levels high. Flood waters may contain dangerous debris and hazardous currents|
|Leesville Dam Tailrace Fishing Area (Staunton River) Is Closed Until Further Notice (Staunton River)The Leesville Dam Tailrace Fishing Area on the north side of the Staunton River at the base of Leesville Dam in Campbell County has been closed until further notice. Due to age and water undercutting the platforms, structural damage has occurred resulting in a public safety concern. It was originally closed but partially reopened in July. However, after further assessment, it has been determined it is no longer safe for public access. This does not affect the hand launch boat access and parking area, which remains open.|
|DWR offices Closed for Walk-In Traffic Until Further Notice (Office Locations & Hours)All DWR offices are closed for walk-in traffic until further notice. More Information »|
|Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program Not Accepting Applications in 2020 (Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program)DGIF is not accepting applications for the Virginia Naturally Schools program this year.|
|Tackle Loaner Requests Suspended Until Further Notice (Tackle Loaner Program)Tackle Loaner requests have been temporally suspended until further notice.|
|Rapidan WMA – Middle River Tract – 4WD Vehicle Recommended (Rapidan)Public vehicular access to the Rapidan WMA has been restored to the Middle River Tract via Route 615/Bluff Mountain Road. However, it is strongly recommended that anyone wanting to drive into this area should do so with a 4WD vehicle due to the existing conditions. Foot traffic is still allowed throughout the tract. DGIF and a number of partners have worked together to improve access to the Rapidan Tract. Even with these improvements, it is still a good idea to use a 4WD vehicle to reach this part of the WMA.|
|Amelia Lake Fishing Pier Closed (Amelia Lake)The fishing pier at Amelia Lake in the Amelia WMA is closed due to storm damage. We hope to replace the pier at a later date. Bank fishing opportunities are still available at that location.|
|Fluvanna Ruritan Lake – Low Lake Level (Fluvanna Ruritan)In 2018, the spillway of Fluvanna Ruritan Lake sustained storm damage that needs repair. The lake is being maintained at a lower level (3–5 feet below normal pool) to limits the amount of discharge released through the spillway until repairs can be made. Planning for the repair project has begun and the agency is looking to secure funding to complete the project. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Any updates on the repairs or water levels will be posted on this page. |
|Dam Repairs at Hearthstone Lake (Hearthstone Lake)Hearthstone Lake has a scheduled drawdown this coming fall and winter due to necessary repairs to the dam. Currently the drawdown is planned to begin in November. The lake will be refilled once construction is complete. Trout will not be stocked during the fall of 2018 or until construction and lake refill has been completed. Call the DGIF Verona Regional Office at 540-248-9360 for more information regarding the drawdown. We apologize for any inconvenience.|
|Lovill’s Creek Lake (Carroll County) – Access Road Under Repair (Lovill's Creek Lake)The access road to the boating access site at Lovill's Creek Lake was washed out in a recent storm. Carroll County is in the process of repairing the road, but the completion date is unknown. Only four-wheel-drive vehicles or vehicles with high clearance are recommended until the road can be repaired.|
|Powhatan Lakes – Low Lake Level (Powhatan Lakes)In 2018, the spillways of both lakes sustained storm damage that need substantial repair. The Powhatan Lakes are being maintained at lower levels (4–6 feet below normal pool) to limits the amount of discharge released through the spillways until repairs can be made. Planning for the repair project has begun and the agency is looking to secure funding to complete the repairs. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Any updates on the repairs or water levels will be posted on this page.|
|Boating Access at Osbourne Pike Landing To Close for Maintenance Project (Osborne Pike Boat Landing)All boating access at Osbourne Pike Landing in Henrico County will be closed for a maintenance dredge project from January 25–March 1, 2021. Please contact Ed Carr, DWR, at 804-367-8311 with any questions related to this project.|
|DGIF Removes Dike 3 Fishing Platform at Lake Anna Due to Safety Concerns (Lake Anna - Dike 3)The Dike III Fishing platform and associated concrete pathway located off Moody Town Road (Bumpass, VA-Lake Anna) is a favorite fishing location for many anglers in the area. The facility, however, was in a deteriorated condition and did not meet current safety standards.
While the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF) promotes public access whenever possible, due to the age and continuing deterioration of the fishing platform and concrete pathway, DGIF has removed it.
The site continues to be available for shoreline fishing.|
|Trout Stocking Returns to the Commonwealth October 1 (Daily Trout Stocking Schedule)We are excited to announce the start of the 2021 Trout Stocking season. From October 1 through May 31, Department of Wildlife Resources hatchery staff will stock nearly one million catchable fish into 200 waters throughout Virginia. Favorable conditions at the hatcheries this summer mean that anglers can expect quality fish to be stocked all season long. We ask anglers to respect social distancing guidelines when interacting with hatchery staff during stockings. Please maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet and use facial coverings when speaking with staff.|
|Lake Shenandoah Water Level Drawdown (Lake Shenandoah)Updated March 11, 2020 — A flood occurred at Lake Shenandoah and during this event the emergency spillway (north side of dam) on the dam was damaged and is going to require extensive repair. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) engineering staff inspected the damage and due to the severity we are required by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Dam Safety to lower the lake approximately 5 feet from full pool and remain at that level until the emergency spillway is repaired. We have recently lowered the lake to stay in compliance with DCR and our engineering staff and to reduce the threat of the dam failing during a high water event.
Additional improvements to the dam are necessary to be in compliance with the Virginia Dam Safety Program. As owners of the dam, DGIF is required to make these improvements to eliminate any safety concerns. The requirements are enforced by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Currently the plan is to make the repairs to the emergency spillway at the same time the improvements are made to the dam. Contractors will be onsite this summer to construct a road and replace the culvert over the stream entering from the golf course (north bay). This is necessary to get the heavy equipment to the dam for repairs. The repairs for the dam are not yet scheduled and will likely not be in 2020.
DGIF understands this is going to impair the use of the lake. DGIF staff have already begun discussing temporary improvements so anglers and boaters can access the lake. DGIF plans to improve access where feasible once the lake is lowered to a safe level for the summer. We also plan to seed the newly-exposed areas around the perimeter of the lake to reduce potential turbidity in the lake and to improve the overall appearance of the property. During these unfortunate circumstances we will strive to do our best to eliminate any inconveniences.|
|Closures Due to Facility Improvements at Lake Shenandoah (Lake Shenandoah)Facilities improvements involving culvert replacement and access road/trail improvements will commence on or about February 1, 2021. Facility improvements will require the closure of the boat ramp access and ramp, as well as north perimeter lake trail from the parking area to the dam emergency spillway. During construction, public access to all construction areas will be prohibited. Construction duration is anticipated to be complete within 45 days and contingent on favorable weather and site conditions.|
|Virginia Wildlife Grant Program Application Period (Virginia Wildlife Grant Program)Due to the current COVID-19 conditions, we are continuing to evaluate what the grant program will look like in 2020. Please subscribe to Notes from the Field and our social media to remain updated. Thank you for your ongoing patience.|
|COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While Outdoors (Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail)DWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.|
|Trout Stocking Program Notices (Daily Trout Stocking Schedule)|