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Coursey Springs Fish Cultural Station

Description

Elevation: 1733 ft.

Located adjacent to the Cowpasture River, the Coursey Springs Fish Cultural Station once attracted long-legged waders by the hundreds to the open earthen raceways where trout were raised. Renovations were completed in 2010 and the trout are now safe from bird predation in modern stainless steel tanks inside covered buildings. The buildings have in turn provided shelter to a large colony of barn swallows; cave and tree swallows are not uncommon sights. This site offers naturalized fishing areas, creekside habitats, riparian corridors, and open fields. Green and great blue herons can often be found wading in shallow waters, especially in the mornings. Belted kingfishers rattle along the river. In the summer, keep an eye out for a possible bald eagle or osprey that may have strayed from its nesting grounds. Red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks hunt the surrounding skies year-round.

Eastern phoebes line the field edges like sentries while common ravens call from the trees in the fields behind the hatchery buildings. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

Eastern phoebes line the field edges like sentries while common ravens call from the trees in the fields behind the hatchery buildings. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

A well-maintained trail circles two large fields between the hatchery and Cowpasture River. This area is truly the star of the property. Eastern bluebirds, American goldfinches, eastern phoebes, red-eyed vireos, swallows, common ravens, and eastern wood-pewees are just a few of the species found here. Dragonflies and damselflies patrol the hatchery: Look for blue dasher, eastern pondhawk, black saddlebags, calico pennant, and common green darner. The meadows are alive with butterflies, moths, and bees, as is the pollinator garden near the main building.

Notes:

  • The hatchery manager requests that visitors use the Spring Run Fishing Access entrance (coordinates below) instead of Hatchery Lane.
  • To access the site a Restore the Wild Membership, Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.

Directions

Physical Address: 300 Hatchery Ln, Millboro, VA 24460

Entrance Coordinates: 38.178531, -79.586270

From Warm Springs, head north on US-220/Sam Snead Hwy, turn right onto SR-39/Mountain Valley Rd, in approximately 6.9 miles turn left onto SR-629/McClung Dr, turn left onto SR-625/River Rd, in approximately 7.2 miles continue straight onto SR-678/Indian Draft Rd, the Spring Run Fishing Access entrance is on the right in approximately 4.3 miles.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 925-2343 eric.wooding@dwr.virginia.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Sunday–Saturday: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Restore the Wild Membership, hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Fee
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Restrooms