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Bryan Park

Bryan Park, which contains two adjacent ponds of approximately six acres each in size, is owned and operated by the City of Richmond. Bryan Park is very picturesque, particularly during the spring when its gardens of flowers are in bloom. It has a large picnic shelter and handicap facilities. The ponds contain channel catfish, which are stocked annually, as well as reproducing populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, and pumpkinseed sunfish. Handicap accessible fishing opportunities are extremely limited at Bryan Park. 

Maps & Directions

Bryan Park is located just north of the intersection of I-64 and I-95. The main entrance is on Hermitage Road, but it can also be accessed at times from Bryan Park Avenue.Map

Fishing Opportunities

The ponds at Bryan Park provide anglers with some fishing opportunities. Both of these impoundments are located on Upham Brook which is a high flow through system that unfortunately dumps excessive amounts of silt and debris into the ponds. The ponds are approximately six acres in size and are separated only by a spillway. The lower pond has the name of Young’s Pond. The first pond will just be referred to as Upper Bryan Park Pond. Young’s Pond provides the better option for anglers to target the various fish species that are present. Young’s Pond has better shoreline access sites for anglers in comparison to the upper pond. 

The DGIF electrofishing survey of Young’s Pond on May 3rd, 2019 revealed the collection of 9 fish species. Species in order of overall abundance were: bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, warmouth sunfish, brown bullhead, creek chubsucker, American eel, golden shiner, and redbreast sunfish. The complete shoreline circuit of the pond in areas that were accessible to our 14-foot boat allowed for the collection of 377 bluegill for a catch rate of 946 fish/hr. Bluegill ranged in size from 2 to 7.5 inches, with the vast majority of fish in the 3 to 5-inch range. Anglers that target the bluegill population should not expect too much action from bluegill greater than 6 inches in length. 

The survey collected a total of 26 largemouth bass for a catch rate of 65 bass/hr. Collected bass ranged in size from 6.5 to 15.4 inches. The largest bass weighed only 2.07 pounds. A supplemental largemouth bass stocking of F1 LMB fingerlings (Florida x Northern strain cross) was conducted in 2018, but from all early indications, did not result in a banner year class of juvenile fish. An additional stocking of bass fingerlings was conducted in 2019 as a second attempt at sprucing up the overall bass biomass. 

Young’s Pond provides additional fishing action in the form of warmouth sunfish and pumpkinseed sunfish. Both the warmouth and the pumpkinseed are not nearly as abundant as the bluegill, but their size structure showed a little potential. The largest warmouth measured 7.4 inches with the majority of fish in the 5 to 6-inch range. The largest pumpkinseed sunfish measured 6.8 inches with the majority of fish in the 4 to 6-inch range.  No channel catfish were collected during the survey. Channel catfish are stocked into Young’s Pond each fall and fall under the protective regulations of 5 catfish/person/day with a 15” minimum size limit. A limited number of brown bullhead were collected as the largest fish measured at 13.1 inches with a weight of 1.53 pounds. 

Upper Bryan Park Pond has some serious limitations with the massive amounts of silt that have washed in from the watershed. The dense emergent vegetation along the majority of the shoreline provides a lot of cover for fish, but impedes shoreline access for anglers. The 2019 electrofishing survey collected 8 fish species. The species diversity consisted of bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, warmouth sunfish, creek chubsucker, largemouth bass, eastern mosquitofish, brown bullhead, and fathead minnow. 

The survey collected a total of 84 bluegill for a catch rate of 560 fish/hr. Bluegill length distribution ranged from 1.89 to 6.77 inches with the majority of the fish in the 4 to 6-inch range. The pumpkinseed sunfish were jumping in the boat as we collected 73 fish for a catch rate of 487 fish/hr. Pumpkinseed sunfish length distribution ranged from 1.57 to 5.19 inches with most fish in the 4 to 5-inch range. The survey provided a dozen warmouth sunfish with most in the 5 to 6-inch range. The largemouth bass collection was extremely poor with only 4 fish collected. Collected bass ranged in length from 11.69 to 13.27 inches, with the largest bass weighed at 1.33 pounds. 

Bass anglers should spend the majority of their effort fishing the lower pond as Young’s Pond provides a stronger bass population than Upper Bryan Park Pond. On a positive note, largemouth bass relative weight value was a very respectable 105 in the Upper Bryan Park Pond. The relative weight value for bluegill was 122 for stock-sized fish and 118 for quality-sized fish. The relative weight value for pumpkinseed sunfish was 119. These high relative weight values reveal the fish to be in great body composition and finding plenty of available forage. 

Biologist Reports

Regulations

Channel catfish averaging 1/2 pound each are stocked annually.

Channel catfish creel limit of 5/person/day with a minimum size of 15 inches.

Regulations for all other species are as follows:

Largemouth bass – 15 inch minimum, 2 per day

Sunfish (bluegill and pumpkinseed) – no minimum size, 50 fish per person per day.

No boats are allowed in the ponds.

Facilities

A large picnic shelter and handicap facilities are available year-round.

More Information

For fisheries information, please contact:

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
(804) 829-6580 ext. 126

For additional information about Bryan Park, please contact:

Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities
900 E. Broad Street, Room 407
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 646-5733