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Facility Closures & Alerts

Clinch Mountain WMA Shooting Range Closed (Clinch Mountain)The Clinch Mountain WMA shooting range is closed until further notice.
Mattaponi WMA Construction Activity (Mattaponi)Infrastructure repair/maintenance construction activities associated with ongoing wetland habitat enhancement projects to improve management capabilities and restore hydrology for the benefit of waterfowl, woodcock, and other wetland dependent species will occur at Mattaponi WMA beginning April 17 and continuing through September 2024. We have asked the contractor to only work in one area at any given time to minimize disturbance to the public. We apologize for any inconvenience. See map for more details.
Chandler’s Mill Pond (Chandler's Mill Pond)Rainfall totals from a February 2022 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. Repairs are anticipated to start early to mid-April 2023. For the first couple months it will be primarily site work in preparation for the spillway. By summer we anticipate the new spillway to be in progress. The final part of the project will be the road turn around, culverts, fencing, and finish grading, which we anticipate occurring in the fall to winter timeframe. Once the dam is repaired and stabilized, we will start the process of refilling the pond. The current anticipated finish date is June 15, 2024, but is subject to change due to weather conditions and the availability of materials.
Recreational Water and Fish Consumption Advisory (Lake Gaston)The Virginia Department of Health has issued a recreational water advisory and fish consumption advisory for this area. Learn more.
Temporary Closure of Byllesby Public Boat Launch and Byllesby Portage (Byllesby Pool)Appalachian Power Company needs to affect repairs to one of the gates at the Byllesby Dam, which is part of the Byllesby/Buck Hydroelectric Project on the New River located within Carroll County, Virginia. Therefore, Appalachian will be temporarily lowering the Byllesby reservoir water surface elevation (i.e., drawdown) by approximately 8 feet to allow for the gate repair work. This will necessitate temporary closure of the Byllesby Public Boat Launch and Byllesby portage. The reservoir drawdown will begin at approximately 8:00 AM on Friday, July 26, 2024, with the goal of reaching the target elevation of approximately 1 foot below the spillway crest elevation (i.e., approximately 2,070.5 feet) at approximately 8:00 AM on Monday, July 29, 2024. The gate repair work is expected to be completed in one to two weeks. However, high flow conditions on the New River may alter the planned schedule and/or duration of the work, should they occur. Note that during the drawdown of the Byllesby reservoir, the last take out point is at the VDWR boat landing on river left off Route 94 at Riverside Park in the town of Fries, Virginia, and the next downstream put in point is at the Buck reservoir. Please plan your recreational activities on the New River accordingly.
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.
Gloucester Point Boat Access – Use Caution (Gloucester Point)Due to the potential for flooding at this location, boaters should exercise caution when landing and launching during extreme high tides and other high water events.
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.
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.
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.
Flippo-Gentry WMA Timber Harvest (Flippo-Gentry)Visitors to Flippo-Gentry Wildlife Management Area are advised that a timber harvest is underway. Loggers may be working in any of the areas shown on this map. Please use caution in these areas and do not block roads and or logging vehicles.
CF Highlands Dante – Spearhead Trails (CF Highlands Dante)The Spearhead Trails are not completed at this time.
Sunfish Pond Low Water Notice (Powhatan)Due to a leak in the stand pipe for the Sunfish pond the water levels will remain low and fluctuate. Anglers are prohibited from fishing in the immediate area of the stand pipe until further notice. Fishing can still be done from the parking area at the upper part of the lake but caution should be used due to the mud and sediment. Please also consider the Bullhead Pond or Bass Pond as alternatives when fishing at this area.
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.
Rapidan WMA – South River Tract (Rapidan)The South River Tract of the Rapidan WMA cannot be accessed using Taylor Mountain Road at this time. Persons legally allowed on bordering properties may enter and use the WMA from that property.
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.
Rapidan WMA – Rapidan Tract (Rapidan Wildlife Management Area)The Rapidan Tract of Rapidan WMA is open.
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.
Gloucester Point Boat Ramp Closed (Gloucester Point)The DWR ramp is currently closed due to an overturned boat investigation. The county ramp across the parking lot is still open for public use.
Mill Creek Boat Ramp Notice (Mill Creek)Due to sedimentation and high tides, this location is best used as a hand launch location. In addition, the county's courtesy pier sustained damage due to high water and is not safe for public use.
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.

Present Work:

• 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.
C.F. Phelps WMA Planned Gate Closures and Impact to Rogers Ford Boat Access (Rogers Ford)The gate near the sighting-in range will be closed according to the schedule below. This gate closure will prevent vehicular access to the Rogers Ford boat access site. The boat launch will remain open during these times, but will require users to walk approximately 1.5 miles.

Gate closure schedule:
  • CLOSED: Last Saturday in September to the 1st Saturday in January.
  • CLOSED: 2nd Saturday in April to the 3rd Saturday in May.