In late February and March, fisheries biologists and hatchery staff collect adult Walleye from the New River, Staunton River, and South Holston Reservoir to produce fingerling Walleye to stock in selected lakes and rivers in Virginia. Walleye spawned or hatched at Vic Thomas, Front Royal, King and Queen, and Buller Fish Cultural Stations, are raised in ponds until they are about 1.5 to 2 inches in length. Ponds are harvested and walleye fingerlings are stocked in locations across the state. Additionally, female Walleye are crossed with male Sauger to produce the hybrid Saugeye. Saugeye perform well in some systems and are stocked with or in place of Walleye. In 2022, DWR stocked approximately 1,166,345 Walleye or Saugeye fingerlings.
Overall, in 2022 hatchery production was very good and should lead to good Walleye fishing in 2023. The following table lists some of the lakes and rivers stocked and offers a rating of the population as “Excellent” (an abundant population), “Good” (decent numbers), or “Fair” (a few). For those anglers who want more in depth information on a particular water what follows are specific reports of Walleye sampling results and fishing details for the individual waters listed in the table. Anglers who want the challenge of catching a Walleye or Saugeye should fish one of the locations in this forecast.