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 at Go Outdoors Virginia. 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:
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. Directions: 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. Directions: From Galax, take Rt. 58 east to Woodlawn, then take Rt. 620 south approximately 4 miles to the area.
Douthat State Park 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. Directions: Located 7 miles north of Clifton Forge on Rt. 629 which can be accessed by Exit 27 off of I-64.