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Diascund Reservoir

This 1,110-acre water supply reservoir for the City of Newport News is situated along the New Kent and James City County line. The reservoir provides a scenic destination for anglers to try their luck on a variety of fish species. The fishery has abundant populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, chain pickerel and black crappie. Carp, bowfin, spotted bass, and longnose gar provide alternative quarry. Gizzard shad and blueback herring are the main forage species. The public boat ramp allows anglers to launch their boats near the center of the reservoir. The numerous creek arms and coves provide anglers a chance to explore and hopefully find their next great fishing spot.

Maps & Directions

Diascund Reservoir is located near the town of Lanexa just off of Route 60. The boat ramp area and parking lot is located off of route 603. Map

Fishing Opportunities

This fishery continues to perform well for a number of species. DGIF fisheries biologists conducted the latest electrofishing survey of Diascund Reservoir on May 21st, 2018. This survey was conducted later into the spring than the majority of past surveys due to colder than average weather in April 2018 and scheduling conflicts. A total of 17 fish species were collected during the survey.

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass population appears to be in fair to decent shape even though past surveys have yielded more excitement than the 2018 survey. The late survey date missed out on largemouth bass spawn that typically draws the bulk of the adult bass population to the shallows. A total of 76 largemouth bass were collected for a catch rate of 38 bass/hr. This catch rate showed a drastic decline from the April 19th, 2017 survey (CPUE = 84 fish/hr). Mid-April surveys/fishing action is always more productive at Diascund Reservoir than later into the month of May. The largest bass measured 21.18 inches in length and weighed 4.31 pounds. The majority of the bass collected were within the 12 to 16-inch range. The relative weight values of bass showed a decline when compared to the 2017 sample. The survey collected a total of only 18 preferred-size bass that were 15 inches or greater in length. This catch rate of preferred-sized bass is roughly 1/4th of what is normally collected from Diascund Reservoir.

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass were illegally stocked into Diascund Reservoir by an angler that thought he had the best interests of the fishery in mind. The spotted bass have been able to draw from the abundant forage base that is present within Diascund Reservoir. Anglers have been able to catch a surprising number of spotted bass in the 3 to 4.5 pound range. This upswing in the spotted bass population coincides with the decline of largemouth bass population. Recent DGIF electrofishing surveys have yielded a decline in largemouth bass greater than 4 pounds. There has been some hybridization occurring within the fishery as some bass have been observed to be a largemouth bass x spotted bass cross. These fish have some of the defining physical traits of both species, but will not qualify for VA record fish certification for pure spotted bass. The 2018 survey collected a total of 19 spotted bass that ranged in size from 5 to 18.5 inches.  

Bluegill

The bluegill population has historically been abundant within Diascund Reservoir. Collected bluegill ranged in size from 1.5 to 8 inches with the majority of fish in 2 to 3.5-inch range. Fair abundance of 5 to 6-inch fish is also present. Through our sampling efforts over the years, we have found that the large impoundments of the middle and lower peninsula rarely produce bluegill larger than 8 inches in length. The presence of gizzard shad and blueback herring results in increased competition for zooplankton and the decrease in bluegill growth potential. The overall status of the bluegill population was fair. Certain areas of the reservoir may hold some larger bluegill, but anglers should not expect to catch full limits of 8-inch bluegill.

Redear Sunfish

The redear sunfish population, although not as abundant as the bluegill, can offer anglers some excitement. The majority of collected redear sunfish were in the 7 to 9-inch range. Limited stock of juvenile redear sunfish were detected. Anglers are encouraged to practice as much catch and release on brood stock redear sunfish as possible to hopefully allow for increased spawning success. 

Black Crappie

Typical shoreline electrofishing conducted during April and May are usually not the best way to evaluate the strength of the black crappie population. Black crappies tend to school in waters deeper than largemouth bass and bluegill. The 2018 electrofishing survey collected only 7 black crappie for a catch rate of 3.5 fish/hr. These crappies ranged in size from a young-of-year 1 inch up to 11 inches. The trap net survey conducted in March 2019 revealed the black crappie population in a completely different light. Collected fish were in great shape with fish body condition revealing high relative weight values. The majority of the crappie collected during the trap net survey were in the 11 to 14-inch range. 

Yellow Perch

Diascund Reservoir has a yellow perch population that appears to be dominated by the presence of juvenile yellow perch. The 2018 survey yielded a total of 465 yellow perch for a catch rate of 232 fish/hr. This catch rate showed a major increase from the 2017 survey (CPUE = 48 fish/hr). The majority of collected perch were in the 3 to 5-inch range with a few fish up to 12 inches collected. The reservoir has some potential to produce trophy-sized yellow perch. Anglers fishing for black crappie may be surprised by an occasional trophy yellow perch.

Chain Pickerel

The chain pickerel population showed less than exhilarating results based on the 2018 survey. A total of 17 chain pickerel were collected for a CPUE of 8.5 fish/hr. The size distribution ranged from 2.5 to 18.4 inches in length. A large percentage of the small sample set consisted of fish in the 10 to 14-inch range. The increase in hydrilla growth over the last few years may assist the chain pickerel population with increased spawning success. Chain pickerel fingerlings will have to find a way to survive being consumed by the abundant black crappie and white perch populations.

Bowfin

Anglers should not overlook the exciting fishing opportunities that exist for bowfin. Although the numbers of bowfin are not as high as nearby Chickahominy Lake, there are some large fish that inhabit the reservoir. The 2018 sample collected 15 bowfins for a catch rate of 7.5 fish/hr. Length distribution ranged from 18.5 to 26.4 inches. The largest collected bowfin measured 26.42 inches and weighed 5.95 pounds. Past surveys have yielded a few citation-sized bowfin that weighed in the 10 to 11 pound range. Bowfin are a native fish species to Virginia and they serve an active role in consuming a portion of the stunted bluegill population. 

Biologist Reports

Regulations

The reservoir is open to fishing one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.

Bank fishing will be permitted in designated areas immediately adjacent to the public boat ramp.

Boat anglers can only use electric trolling motors and must follow the regulations posted by the City of Newport News.

Outboard motors may be kept on the boat under the following conditions:

(a) Motor must be kept out of the water at all times.
(b) Portable fuel tanks must be removed from the boat.
(c) Built-in fuel lines must have the shut-off valve in the closed position.

Sailboards, floating platforms, personal watercrafts (such as jet skis) and non-enclosed watercraft are prohibited on the reservoir. Canoes, kayaks and small sailboats are considered to be enclosed watercraft as long as they have freeboard between the water and the occupant.

Additional regulations are posted at the boat ramp. All other fisheries related regulations are as stated in the Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations Digest. Statewide regulations apply to all fish species.

Facilities

Currently, the facilities are limited to a boat ramp, courtesy pier and parking lot.

Limited shoreline fishing is allowed within the boundary area of the boat ramp parking lot. Boat anglers can launch their boats free of charge without paying a launch fee.

News

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries staff sampled Diascund Reservoir on May 21st, 2018. The electrofishing survey shed some additional insight on the status of the largemouth bass and spotted bass populations. The later than normal survey date did not assist the catch rate of largemouth bass by any means. The catch rate of yellow perch showed a great increase from past survey years. The catch rate of chain pickerel and bowfin left something to be desired when compared to past surveys. The survey revealed a high level of diversity with 17 fish species collected.  

More Information

For further information please contact:

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
3801 John Tyler Hwy.
Charles City, VA 23030

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

Natural Resources Division
Public Utilities and Waterworks
City Of Newport News
2600 Washington Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607
Phone: (757) 926-7177