Important Notices for this Waterbody
|Chandler’s Mill Pond Drawdown|
In the early morning hours of November 12th, Chandler’s Mill Pond in Montross, along with much of Virginia, was subject to extreme rainfall as moisture from Tropical Storm Eta collided with a cold front moving in from the west. The total rainfall from this storm likely exceeded 6 inches over the pond. This resulted in the overtopping of the dam and flooding across Rt 3, resulting in a closure of this roadway.
Responding to reports of the rising water, DWR Conservation Police Officers accessed the dam and opened the flood gates, allowing the dam to draw down. DWR staff remained on site to monitor the dam until conditions were deemed stable. Monitoring continued over the next few days and DWR Engineering staff inspected the dam, finding that while there are a few small areas of erosion in need of repair, the structure remains structurally sound and without any failure of the dam.
To allow staff time to assess the flooding event and ensure maximum safety, DWR has decided to fully drawdown Chandler’s Mill Pond for the time being. This will enable a thorough review of the dam’s performance during the storm and inform potential adjustments that may further improve dam safety at this site. Following these assessments and adjustments the pond will be reflooded.
Chandler’s Millpond is a picturesque 75-acre impoundment located in Westmoreland County in the northeast of Virginia. The Sturman family originally built it around 1670 on Cat Point Creek. The pond is privately owned by several individuals, but the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has an agreement with them to allow public fishing.
The dam was completely redesigned and rebuilt following a failure in 2015. The reconstruction of the dam was completed in May of 2020. The redesign of the dam included extensive earthwork to ensure a solid foundation and a relocation of the spillway. The dam includes a multi-species pool and weir fishway that will provide access to 8 miles of habitat upstream including the impoundment. American Eel (catadromous) are the primary migratory species expected to use the fishway which will allow juvenile eels to access upstream habitat as they make their journey from the ocean . Anadromous fish such as Alewife and Blueback Herring are secondary targets. The fishway provides connectivity for resident fishes as well.
The pond is open for “catch and release” fishing but fish populations are limited at this time. Fisheries biologists will sample the existing populations and develop stocking plans to re-establish self-sustaining populations of fish such as Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Redear Sunfish and Channel Catfish.
The pond has an average depth of about 6 feet and has a boat ramp and a courtesy pier. Boats are limited to electric motors only.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) will require an Access Permit for visitors to department-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and public fishing lakes, who are age 17 and older, unless they possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license, or a current Virginia boat registration. Learn more about the Access Permit.
Maps & Directions
The pond is situated off Route 3, approximately one mile west of Montross. Map
These historical reports provide some idea as to the quality of fishery that Chandler’s Mill Pond can support.
- All fishing on Chandler’s Mill Pond is catch and release.
- Electric motors only.
- The pond is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
- All other regulations are as stated in the Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations Digest.
Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions
Facilities include a boat ramp and courtesy pier off of Route 3. The parking lot entrance is adjacent to the little league field.
For more information, please contact:
Department of Wildlife Resources
3801 John Tyler Hwy.
Charles City, VA 23030
Phone: (804) 829-6580, Ext. 129