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2024 Walleye Fishing Forecast

A man in a hat and sunglasses smiles and holds a fish up to the cameraWalleye fishing opportunities in Virginia should be plentiful in 2024 to allow angler a chance at catching this popular fish species. The collaborative efforts between DWR fisheries biologists and hatchery staff allow for the propagation of Walleye. Walleye brood stock are collected from the New River, Staunton River, and South Holston Reservoir each spring. Collections are typically during late February to mid-March to coincide with the spawning runs of each system.

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 2023, DWR stocked approximately 1,781,500 Walleye and Saugeye fingerlings into 19 selected waters. DWR hatcheries had a banner year of production in 2023 and surpassed the 2022 stocking of 1,166,345 fingerlings.

Anglers should expect good Walleye and Saugeye fishing in the near future from the 2023-year class of stocked fish. The following table lists some of the lakes and rivers recently stocked and provides a rating of the population as either “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 Walleye or Saugeye should fish one of the locations in this forecast.

Download the 2024 Virginia Walleye Fishing Forecast

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