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Coldwater Fish Production & Stocking

Fish stocking is a management tool used to:

  1. establish sportfish in new, reclaimed, or renovated waters open to public fishing;
  2. supplement natural stocks where reproduction is inadequate;
  3. introduce new species as predators and/or to provide a trophy fishery;
  4. and provide immediate fishing by introducing catchable size fish.

Trout are raised at the Marion, Paint Bank, Wytheville, Coursey Springs, and Montebello hatcheries.

The Department annually stocks over 1.2 million catchable-size trout in more than 180 waters (stream sections and lakes) from October to June. This catchable (“put-n-take”) trout program is quite popular and is funded through the sale of trout licenses. A county-by-county list of waters stocked may be found on this Web site or in the annual Trout Guide. The plan also indicates the frequency and stocking period for each water. From October through May, daily trout stockings are posted on this Web site or are available by contacting the Department at (434) 525-FISH.

Additionally, the Department implements a much smaller fingerling/sub-catchable stocking program. This program is designed to take advantage of the natural potential of high-elevation lakes, deep reservoirs, cold tailwaters below dams. These spring-feed streams produce quality trout fishing opportunities where wild fisheries are not possible, due to lack of natural reproduction.

For more information about Virginia’s trout program, review the annual Trout Guide.