Skip to Main Content

Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir

This 635-acre reservoir is located just outside of the Gloucester Courthouse. The reservoir and park provide a variety of opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Beaverdam Park is a popular destination for families. There are trails for hikers, bikers and horse riders. You may see deer, turkey, and bald eagles, as well as a variety of waterfowl. Many anglers in the greater Gloucester region will give the local saltwater action a break to try their luck on the variety of freshwater fish species that are present within the reservoir.

The reservoir was constructed in 1989 and reached full pool level during the winter of 1989-1990. Bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish and black crappie are the only fish to have been stocked in this reservoir. The largemouth bass population became established on its own from bass that lived in the streams and several surrounding farm ponds that were encompassed by the impoundment.

Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir contains abundant populations of largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white perch, bluegill, and redear sunfish. The reservoir has been a popular spot for bass anglers and the park conducts several bass tournaments throughout the year. Various bass fishing clubs will hold club tournaments on the reservoir as well. The black crappie fishery provides anglers with a lot of excitement along with the chance of catching citation-sized fish.

Maps & Directions

The main park entrance is located on Route 616 off Route 17 at Gloucester in Gloucester County. The ranger station, main boat ramp, and fishing pier can all be found at the main park area. Map

A second park entrance and boat ramp can be accessed off Route 606. The ramp at this site is specifically for annual pass holders. Map



The 2019 electrofishing sample showed a significant increase in the overall catch rate of largemouth bass when compared to past surveys. A total of 196 largemouth bass were collected on April 10, 2019 for an impressive catch rate of 117.6 bass/hr. A high proportion of the collected bass were in the 11 to 17-inch range. A total of 84 bass were in the preferred-size range (equal or greater than 15 inches in length). The catch rate of preferred-sized bass (50.4 fish/hr) was the highest on record for Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir, only trailing behind Lake Chesdin for Region 1, District 1 high honors. The two largest collected bass weighed 6.5 and 5.4 pounds.

The black crappie population provides some outstanding fishing opportunities during the early season months of January through March. It is during these months that anglers will find large schools of crappie stacked up in shallow reaches of the various creek arms. It is also at this time of year that anglers think it is a fun practice to fill their freezers with fillets. Anglers are encouraged to enjoy the fishery without keeping every fish they catch. Catch and release practices of the larger black crappie in the 12 to 16-inch range will help to keep some of the stronger brood stock in the population and to maintain Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir as a popular place to fish for citation-sized crappie. 

The bluegill population has seen a shift in size structure from an abundance of juvenile fish to one that holds a high proportion of larger sized fish. The 2019 survey revealed a higher concentration of bluegill in the 6 to 7-inch range with very few fish found less than 4 inches in length. The redear sunfish population provides additional excitement with a decent abundance of 7 to 10-inch fish. 

Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir provides anglers a decent opportunity to catch quality-sized white perch as well as a few citation-sized yellow perch. The recent population explosion of gizzard shad has created an abundance of forage for the various predator fish species. Anglers should be able to find the schools of black crappie and white perch rather easily with the use of a good fish finder. 

Biologist Reports


  1. The park is open every day of the year except Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  2. Electric motors only.
  3. Hours of use are set by park staff.

All other regulations are as stated in the Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations Digest.


DWR fisheries biologists sampled the reservoir on April 10, 2019 with a total of 12 fish species collected. The electrofishing catch rate for largemouth bass was 117.6 bass/hr and showed a marked increase from previous years. The survey revealed the highest recorded catch rate of preferred-sized bass. Ideal timing assisted this record catch rate as a high percentage of the encountered bass were starting to pair up for the spawn. The 2018 trap net survey revealed an abundance of black crappie toward the upper Route 606 creek arm. The catch rate of larger crappie showed a decline from the previous trap net survey. Any black crappie collection will be based on encountering the schools of fish as they migrate to the warmer shallow water of the creeks and the flats. Some of the hottest crappie fishing action can be found in January and February on Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir. Reports from anglers has the white perch fishing action to be fast and furious during the summer of 2019.  

Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions

There are two boat ramps, the main one being off Route 616 and the other one off Route 606. The Route 606 ramp is for annual pass holders. Jon boats, paddleboats, canoes and other equipment can be rented from the ranger station where bait and snacks can also be purchased. There is also a fishing pier, picnic facilities, playing areas, hiking, biking and horse riding trails.

More Information

For further information please contact:

The Ranger Station at 804-693-2107 or check out their website.

For further information please contact:

Department of Wildlife Resources
3801 John Tyler Hwy
Charles City, VA 23030

Phone: (804) 829-6580 Ext. 126.