Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Fee Fishing Areas

Important Notices

DGIF Fee Fishing Areas Reopening June 1As Virginia begins to slowly "reopen" parks and recreation areas that have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DGIF has decided to reopen the three Fee Fishing Areas where hatchery trout are stocked (Clinch Mountain, Crooked Creek, and Douthat State Park). To minimize angler crowding, stocking days and time of day will be randomly determined, and not announced to the public. Requirements and regulations for the Fee Fishing Areas will remain the same. A Daily Permit will still be required to fish the Fee Fishing Areas during Free Fishing Days June 5–7, 2020. Anglers are reminded to practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC. This involves keeping at least 6 feet from other people, wearing a face covering, and washing your hands frequently. Above all else, if you feel sick or have flu-like symptoms, please stay home and plan to go fishing when you are feeling healthy. DGIF will monitor the activities at the Fee Areas and if angler crowding or behavior compromises the health/safety of the public or hatchery staff, DGIF may decide to close the Fee Areas.
Trout Stocking Program Notices
  • In response to growing concern about the spread of COVID-19, DGIF will be making the following changes to the 2020 Trout Stocking Program. Beginning April 3, daily trout stockings will no longer be posted on the DGIF website or Trout Line. All open waters will continue to receive their full allotment of trout stockings as conditions allow. All Pre-Announced stockings including Urban Program Waters and the Youth-Only Stocked Trout Program will be rescheduled and will no longer be announced before hand. We continue to encourage everyone to continue to get outdoors and remind you to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Please check this list of waters that are closed to fishing and that will not be stocked until further notice.

The fee fishing areas offer put-and-take trout fishing with the added advantage that trout are stocked several times weekly throughout the season. For those anglers who reminisce about the opening day of trout season, these areas still provide this opportunity on the first Saturday in April when they open at 9:00 a.m. (The fee season may vary among the 3 fee fishing areas. Refer to information listed under each fee area). Fee areas are closed to fishing 5 days prior to opening day. During the fee fishing season, a daily permit ($8.00) is required of any person over 12 years of age, in addition to a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license (all children under 16 are exempted from having a fishing license). Children 12 years of age and under can fish without a permit throughout the fee-fishing area as long as they are accompanied by a permitted adult and their combined creel does not exceed that of the adult (6 trout). Daily permits are available at authorized license agents or online. After the fee fishing season, these areas revert to designated stocked trout waters and a trout license is required instead of the daily permit. The creel limit at these areas is six fish per day, minimum length 7 inches. Fishermen are required to use separate stringers. Bait or artificial lures may be used as posted. Children-only fishing area (where applicable) regulations are posted.

Clinch Mountain Fee Fishing Area

Clinch Mountain Fee Fishing Area Daily Stocking Schedule

  • Monday: Section B (Starting at the bridge above the WMA Manager’s residence upstream to the gate at the foot of the mountain)
  • Wednesday: Section D (Starting at the Big Falls upstream to the Blue Hole)
  • Friday: Section B
  • Saturday: Section A (The beginning of the Fee Area upstream to the WMA shop)
  • Mobility Limited Access Areas will be stocked each of the stocking days.

This fee area is located in southwest Virginia, about 7 miles west of Saltville. A daily permit ($8.00) is required from the first Saturday in April through September 30. Trout are stocked 4 times per week throughout the fee period, and fishing begins at 5:00 a.m. daily, except for 9:00 a.m. on opening day, and ends one hour after sunset. The area consists of approximately 7 miles of Big Tumbling Creek and its two major tributaries, Briar Cove Creek and Laurel Bed Creek. Note: Access to Laurel Bed Lake is also closed the 5 days prior to opening day for this fee area.


From Saltville, turn left off of Rt. 107 onto Rt. 91 (1 ⁄4 mile); then right onto Rt. 634; bear left onto Rt. 613 and proceed 3.5 miles; then right onto Rt. 747 to the area.

Crooked Creek Fee Fishing Area

This area is located in Carroll County, 5 miles east of Galax, and consists of a 5-mile stocked section and an approximately 2-mile section managed as a wild trout fishery. A daily permit ($8.00) is required from the first Saturday in April through September 30. Trout are stocked 4 times per week throughout the fee period, and fishing begins at 5:00 a.m. daily, except for 9:00 a.m. on opening day, and ends one hour after sunset.


From Galax, take Rt. 58 east to Woodlawn, then take Rt. 620 south approximately 4 miles to the area.

Douthat Lake Fee Fishing Area

This area includes Douthat State Park Lake (60 acres) and 4 miles of Wilson Creek: above the lake to the park boundary and downstream to the lower USFS boundary. Trout are stocked 2 times per week throughout the fee period with the exception of the final week of the fee season which will receive a single stocking of a double load. A daily permit ($8.00) is required from the first Saturday in April through June 15 and from September 15 through October 31. From June 16 through September 14, no trout will be stocked and no daily fee or trout license is required. Fishing begins at 6:00 a.m daily, except on opening day (9:00 a.m.). A small “children-only” area has been established on Wilson Creek, just below the dam.


Located 7 miles north of Clifton Forge on Rt. 629 which can be accessed by Exit 27 off of I-64.