|Doe Creek WMA: Limited Hunting Opportunities Due to Abnormally Dry Conditions (Doe Creek)At this time, limited hunting opportunities are available due to abnormally dry conditions. For other opportunities for walk-in waterfowl hunting on the Eastern Shore, please check out Saxis WMA or Mockhorn Island - GATR Tract.|
|Doe Creek WMA: Coming Soon (Doe Creek)Please check back for updates as staff work to get newly acquired properties open for public access. Information will be posted as it becomes available. Learn more about the Eastern Shore Conservation Initiative and how it will benefit wildlife and Virginians »|
|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.|
|Chandler’s Mill Pond (Chandler's Mill Pond)Rainfall totals from a February rain event, coupled with a large volume of snow melt from winter storms, resulted in extensive flooding in the Chandler’s Mill Pond watershed and a subsequent breach of the dam. In an effort to prevent additional damage, the breach was opened up further, the channel was stabilized, and planning and budgeting for repairs began. The plans and budget for this project are currently being finalized, after which contractors will proceed with emergency repairs to the breach and the addition of a second spillway to mitigate future damage to the dam. Until repairs are made, the Chandler’s Mill Pond will remained fully drawn down to allow repairs to be made in dry conditions.|
|Gill Lice Detected in Rainbow Trout in Virginia (Trout Fishing Guide)Fisheries biologists with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) recently identified gill lice on rainbow trout in a stream in southwestern Virginia. We are now asking anglers to assist us in determining the extent of gill lice by being on the lookout while fishing their favorite trout stream. Learn more about gill lice and how you can help.|
|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 DWR Boat Landing located off US 501 at Brookneal or the Watkins Bridge Boat Landing on Rt. 746 north of Clover.|
|Dutch Gap Boat Ramp (Dutch Gap)Chesterfield County has assumed all operational control of the Dutch Gap Boat Ramp. Please note that there may be significant delays to traffic due to truck activity related to removal of fly ash at the adjacent Dominion Power site. For more information please go to Chesterfield's website or Dominon's website.|
|Fluvanna Ruritan Lake Boat Ramp Closed (Ruritan Lake)The Fluvanna Ruritan Lake boat ramp will be closed until further notice.|
|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.|
|Notices for Mill Creek Boat Access (Mill Creek)Due to the potential for shoaling at this site boaters are urged to use caution when landing and launching.|
|Changes in Parking at Whitethorne Boating Access (Whitethorne)Please note that parking is only allowed in the DWR parking lot adjacent to the boat ramp. Because of safety concerns, parking on railroad property on the opposite side of the tracks is prohibited. DWR is working to secure additional overflow parking arrangements. Please respect private property and comply with posted regulations.|
|Lawnes Creek Boat Ramp Advisory (Lawnes Creek)Renovations to install an ADA loading pier and fishing pier combination at DWR’s Lawnes Creek Boating Access site is anticipated to start August 22, 2022. The ramp and surrounding area will be closed to all users starting August 22, 2022.|
|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.|
|Cumberland State Forest: Swinging Bridge Closed (Cumberland State Forest)Following inspection by a panel of engineers, the swinging bridge at Warner has been deemed unsafe and is closed until further notice.|
|Attention Anglers & Boaters: North Fork Shenandoah River Algal Growth (Shenandoah River - North Fork)Sections of the North Fork Shenandoah frequently experience excess algal growth during the summer months. Several naturally occurring cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) species have the ability to form harmful algae blooms (HAB) and produce cyanotoxins which affect humans and pets through skin contact, inhalation, and accidental ingestion during recreational activities in surface waters. For the latest information concerning water borne hazards, consult the Virginia Department of Health’s website.|
|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 Fish Hatcheries to Reopen May 27 (Daily Trout Stocking Schedule)The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is thrilled to announce that all of their fish hatcheries will reopen to the public on Friday, May 27! The hatcheries have been closed to the public since early 2021 in order to ensure the continuation of operations during the COVID pandemic. Hatcheries remained operational during the public closure and were able to meet their fish production and stocking goals. DWR operates nine fish hatcheries whose actions help to support a wide range of fishing opportunities for anglers throughout the Commonwealth. Find additional information on DWR’s State Fish Hatcheries and stocking program here.|
|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. DWR 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)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. Any updates on the repairs or water levels will be posted on this page.|
|Powhatan Lakes – Low Lake Level (Powhatan Lakes)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. Any updates on the repairs or water levels will be posted on this page.|
|Queen Sound Boat Landing: Temporary Closure (Queens Sound)Queen Sound Boat Landing will be temporarily closed starting August 8, 2022. Accomack County will be doing renovations to the boat landing and it is expected to be reopened by December. 8, 2022. Please check back from more updates.|
|DWR 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 Wildlife Resources (DWR) promotes public access whenever possible, due to the age and continuing deterioration of the fishing platform and concrete pathway, DWR has removed it. The site continues to be available for shoreline fishing.|
|Laurel Bed Lake: Low Water Level (Laurel Bed Lake)A malfunction in the water release gate at Laurel Bed Lake in Russell County has resulted in continual release of water through the dam and a lower than normal water level in the lake. A repair crew is on site trying to close and repair the gate, but the lake level is currently down about 5–6 feet. The fishing pier is not usable at this time, but anglers may still launch boats from the boat ramp. However, boaters should use caution as the lower lake level has exposed standing timber and other navigational hazards. Once repairs have been made to the water release gate the lake level may remain low for some time depending on the amount of precipitation the area receives. For questions or additional information, please contact the DWR Regional Office in Marion at (276) 783-4860.|
|Lake Shenandoah Dam Restoration Update (Lake Shenandoah)Background:|
A flood occurred at Lake Shenandoah. During this event the emergency spillway (north side of dam) was damaged, requiring extensive repair. The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) engineering staff inspected the damage and, due to the severity, were required by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Dam Safety Division to lower the lake approximately 5 feet from full pool to reduce the threat of the dam failing during a high water event. In addition, DCR Dam Safety recently updated hazard assessment criteria for all dams in Virginia. In order to bring the Lake Shenandoah Dam into compliance with dam safety requirements, it was determined that the dam would need to be completely reconstructed.
• DWR staff constructed an alternate boat launch area, seeded exposed banks to reduce erosion, repositioned the floating pier, and mowed new bank fishing access areas.
• Contractors completed a culvert replacement in the northern arm of the lake and upgraded the road leading to the dam, so heavy equipment can access the area.
• DWR engineering staff are in ongoing discussions with engineering firms to finalize plans to reconstruct the dam and emergency spillway. There are a variety of options that are being evaluated, all of which are extremely costly. Regardless of which option is chosen, DWR will maintain the pool at a lower level than it had been historically out of concern for flooding impacts to downstream structures and upstream structures due to potential backups from the dam during flood events (even after the dam is repaired). The fishery in the lake is intact even in its current state, and we would expect it to do well after the reconstruction of the dam under the current proposals.
|Changes to Deep Bottom and Osborne Pike Boat Access Schedules (Deep Bottom)Henrico County Parks and Recreation will be closing the ramp at Deep Bottom Park at sunset beginning on September 27, 2021. To ensure continued access for night-time angling on the James River the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) will be opening the Osborne Landing Boat ramp to night-time launching effective immediately.|
|COVID-19 & the VBWT (Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail)Before heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.|
|Trout Stocking Program Notices (Daily Trout Stocking Schedule)|
|Notice of Logging Activity (Clinch Mountain)Logging activity is taking place in the Twin Hollows area of Clinch Mountain WMA to improve wildlife habitats. Logging trucks will be transporting forest products along Laurel Bed Lake Road and Tumbling Creek Road daily. All WMA visitors are advised to drive slowly and use caution, while traveling to and from Laurel Bed Lake and while traveling along Tumbling Creek Road. This logging activity was carefully planned with wildlife habitat, sustainability and safety in mind. Thank you for your patience and understanding.|