Located in the heart of Dorey Park in eastern Henrico County, this small but popular five-acre impoundment is one of the original Urban Program waters in the Richmond Metropolitan Area. The official visiting hours for the pond, as well as the park, are sunrise to sunset, year round.
The park is owned and managed by Henrico County Recreation and Parks. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is responsible for managing the fishery. To improve and maintain a successful, high-quality fishing program, Dorey Park Pond was placed into the Urban Program of DWR back in 1993. Through the program, the pond receives annual stockings of catfish in mid-May. From November through March, the pond is stocked with catchable-size trout. To experience this unique opportunity, anglers must possess a trout license in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is not required from May 1 through October 31 or for juveniles under age 16.
The pond is approximately 5 acres in size and is in the shape of an “L”. There is full walking access to the entire shoreline and the County has constructed a large handicap accessible fishing pier. The average depth of the lake is about 3 to 5 feet within 20 feet of the shoreline. The deepest water, roughly 10 feet in depth, is located just off the end of the fishing pier. A parking lot is available at the north end of the pond.
Maps & Directions
Dorey Park Pond can be reached from I-64 at exit 195, traveling south of Sandston on Laburnum Avenue approximately 3.5 miles, and then turning left (east) on Darbytown Road. The entrance to the park will be approximately 1.2 miles on the right.
Map to Dorey Park Pond
Recent electrofishing surveys of Dorey Park Pond have shown a fishery that has not achieved a proper balance between predator and prey fish species. The April 23, 2019 electrofishing survey consisted of a full community collection that produced limited species diversity with only five species collected. Species collected in order of abundance were Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, White Perch, American Eel, and Green Sunfish.
The Urban Trout Program at Dorey Park Pond continues to be a very popular attraction. The pond receives five trout stockings over the course of November through March from the Montebello Fish Hatchery. The typical schedule will have the stockings toward the first week of each month weather permitting. Trout stockings consist of Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout as each stocking will depend on what the hatchery has available at the date of stocking. The Rainbow Trout tend to be caught on your classic prepared trout baits like Power Bait. The fun task is finding out which color pattern or flavor they prefer on any given day. The Brown Trout can be fooled into striking a variety of lures and spinners. Fishing action can be hit or miss for the trout as their prime activity pattern can vary. The turbid water conditions experienced during late 2020 did not help with the fishing action. Trout action improved some when the water clarity improved.
Dorey Park Pond typically receives one large Channel Catfish stocking each May. The stocking allocation is 1,750 pounds of catfish, with most fish averaging about a pound. Similar to the trout fishing regulations, anglers can only use one active fishing pole/line to catch catfish. The catfish creel limit is set at 4 fish/person/day. Anglers can catch their fair share of catfish by using your basic Carolina rig (fish finder rig) with a ½-ounce sinker attached above a bead and a barrel swivel along with a leader segment of 17-pound monofilament of roughly 12 to 14 inches in length. A small circle hook is all you need to properly hook half a night crawler or any desired cut bait. Circle hooks will significantly cut down your chances of gut hooking a catfish.
Dorey Park Pond was sampled on three occasions during 2019. Survey days of April 23rd and 30th as well as May 3rd were used to assess the Largemouth Bass fishery as part of a mark/recapture population study. The April 23rd survey revealed 46 Largemouth Bass for a catch rate (CPUE) of 184 fish/hr. The April 30th survey collected 45 Largemouth Bass (CPUE = 198 fish/hr). The May 3rd survey collected 31 Largemouth Bass (CPUE = 143 fish/hr). Assessment of collected data revealed two strong year classes of bass comprising the majority of the bass population. These two-year classes revealed an abundance of juvenile bass in the 4 to 6-inch range and the 7 to 9-inch range. A large gap in the distribution was noticed with no bass in the 10 to 13-inch range. The surveys did reveal a respectable assortment of bass in the 14 to 19-inch range. The largest collected bass was caught on May 3rd with a length of 20.78 inches and a weight of 5.71 pounds. This bass showed some of the potential that exists within Dorey Park Pond.
There is plenty of forage available for any of the adult bass to consume. Angler bait bucket introductions have produced a breeding population of mature golden shiners. Angler introductions of White Perch and Green Sunfish have also been recently observed. Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to stock fish into any given public water without approval from DWR.
Bluegill and Green Sunfish
The survey produced 168 Bluegill for a catch rate of 672 fish/hr. This catch rate failed to match the October 5th, 2017 survey that collected 469 Bluegill for a catch rate of 1,963 fish/hr. The 2017 fall survey revealed the cyclic nature of the fishery in which an abundance of juvenile Bluegill are produced during the various spawns of spring and summer. Many of these Bluegill will be foraged upon by the stocked Channel Catfish as well as the brown and brook trout. The majority of collected Bluegill were in the 3 to 4-inch range with the largest fish measured at 6.73 inches. Past kids fishing days have shown a fair number of Green Sunfish residing in Dorey Park Pond. The 2019 survey collected only two Green Sunfish that measured 2.83 and 4.45 inches. The survey most likely underestimated the strength of the Green Sunfish population. The majority of the Bluegill and Green Sunfish are not fillet worthy, but can provide abundant action for young anglers that are pleased to keep busy catching fish.
A trout license is required in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is NOT required from May 1 through October 31. Juveniles under age 16 need no licenses.
Four trout can be harvested per day per angler. Only one active fishing pole can be used.
Channel catfish are stocked that average about 1 pound apiece. Four catfish (any size) can be harvested per day per angler. Only one active fishing pole can be used.
No party fishing allowed for trout and catfish as anglers are not permitted to pass caught fish to anyone/everyone in their party.
Regulations for all other species are as follows:
Largemouth bass – 18 inch minimum, 1 per day
Bluegill and redear sunfish – no minimum size, 25 fish per person per day
Crappie – no minimum size, 25 per day
State Wide Regulations apply for any other species not specifically listed
DWR staff started the task of building various fish habitat structures and placed them into Dorey Park Pond in hopes of providing suitable habitat for juvenile Largemouth Bass. Fish habitat reefs will also help to concentrate Bluegill near shoreline areas to allow anglers improved catch rates. DWR staff have stocked F1 Largemouth Bass fingerlings into Dorey Park Pond in 2016, 2018–2021 in hopes of strengthening the bass population. Mossback fish habitat structures were constructed and placed into the pond on June 17, 2021. Triploid Grass Carp were stocked into Dorey Park Pond for the first time on June 8, 2020. The stocked Grass Carp should assist in controlling the growth of aquatic vegetation. A fall 2021 electrofishing survey is planned to further assess the fishery of Dorey Park Pond.
Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions
- Fee ✘
- Parking ✔
- Handicap-Accessible ✔
- Food Concession ✘
- Picnic Tables ✔
- Grills ✔
- Restrooms ✔
- Hiking Trails ✔
- Bike Trails ✔
- Viewing Blinds ✘
- Observation Platforms ✘
- Fishing Pier/Platform ✔
- Boat Ramps ✘
- Motorboat Access ✘
- Horsepower Limit ✘
- Electric Motor Only ✘
- Paddle Access ✘
- Camping ✘
- Primitive Camping Only ✘
A walking/jogging trail encircles the pond and a picnic shelter is located by the parking lot at the north end. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available near the pond. A large handicapped accessible fishing pier is located on the pond as well as an older shoreline fishing platform adjacent to the picnic shelter. Benches for fishing or to just relax by the water’s edge are located around the pond.
The largest county park in Henrico County (over 400 acres), Dorey Park provides numerous other recreational opportunities besides angling. There is a Recreation Center, 7 picnic shelters, a children’s play area, Frisbee golf, 4 soccer fields, 4 lighted baseball fields, 3 tennis courts, access to the Capital Biking Trail, a horse ring and numerous riding trails.
For fisheries information, please contact:
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
Phone: (804) 829-6580 ext. 126
For additional information, please contact Dorey Park
Henrico County Recreation and Parks
P.O. Box 27032
Richmond, Virginia 23273
Phone: (804) 501-7275