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Echo Lake

Echo Lake is owned and operated by Henrico County. It’s located in the northern part of the county on Springfield Road (Rt. 157), approximately one mile west of Staples Mill Road (Rt. 33). This beautiful 12-acre lake is the main attraction at this park. Although no boats are allowed, a gravel path encircles the entire lake, enabling anglers to access multiple areas of the shoreline. There is a fishing pier, playground, and picnic shelter available for family or group-use year-round.

In 2008, Henrico County temporarily drained Echo Lake to complete a habitat improvement project. The project included construction of a small settling basin above the lake and the removal of 14,500 cubic yards of accumulated sediment material from the main lake. In January 2009, Echo Lake reopened to the general public. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) restocked sunfish in 2009 and bass and catfish in 2010 and 2011. Echo Lake receives channel catfish stockings each October to provide additional fishing opportunities. Supplemental bass stockings consisting of F1 LMB (Florida x Northern Strain crosses) were conducted in the spring of 2018 and 2019.

Maps & Directions

Located in the northern part of the county on Springfield Road (Rt. 157), approximately one mile west of Staples Mill Road (Rt. 33).

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Fishing Opportunities

Recent electrofishing surveys have shown improvements in the fishery. The dredging project greatly improved habitat for the various fish species that inhabit the lake. The relatively recent increase in hydrilla growth has been a problem at Echo Lake. DGIF stocked 120 triploid grass carp in hopes that these fish would help to control the hydrilla growth. Late spring to early summer 2018 appeared as if the grass carp had some level of control on the hydrilla only to find the hydrilla growth making a late season push to cover approximately 75% of the lake. Hydrilla coverage has been rather dense during 2019 as well. Echo Lake is a high flow through system that is impacted by drainage from the surrounding watershed during large storm events. Excessive nutrients from the surrounding watershed fuel the hydrilla growth which really does not need much help within this shallow water impoundment.

Echo Lake has a fishery primarily composed of largemouth bass and a variety of sunfish species. The previous catch and release regulation did not result in a surplus of largemouth bass. The most recent electrofishing surveys of 2019 revealed the presence of numerous year classes of bass, but no distinct strong year classes present. DGIF staff stocked Echo Lake with F1 Tiger Bass during the spring of 2018. This supplemental stocking of bass fingerlings should provide a boost to the fishery. Three survey days were used to assess the bass population. The first and third weeks resulted in the collection of 25 bass each day for catch rates of 60 fish/hr and 50 fish/hr. The second week was the most productive with 43 bass collected for a catch rate of 113 fish/hr. Collected bass ranged in size from 4 to 18-inch range. The largest bass measured in at 18.98 inches with a weight of 3.84 pounds. A high proportion of the collected bass were in the 12 to 16-inch range. 

The full community collection on May 7, 2019 revealed the presence of 401 bluegill for a catch rate of 798 fish/hr. Bluegill length distribution ranged from 1.5 to 7 inches with a large proportion of fish in the 2 to 3-inch range. Some of the larger-sized bluegill will typically be found near the spillway as you walk across the bridge. The survey found the majority of larger sunfish tucked in the back of the upper end of the lake as it appeared they were stacked up on spawning beds. Stocked redear sunfish have shown some positive signs of survival and growth. Although not as abundant as the bluegill, the redear sunfish population has a greater size distribution with some fish reaching close to 8 inches in total length. A total of 68 redear sunfish were collected for a catch rate of 135 fish/hr. Channel catfish are typically stocked each fall during the early part of October. Stocked catfish are usually around ½ pound in weight. The minimum size limit of 18 inches will hopefully allow the stocked fish to mature to a more favorable size before being harvested. The survey only provided 2 channel catfish. These fish measured 16.97 and 22.56 inches with corresponding weights of 1.83 and 4.89 pounds. One of the highlights to the surveys was the collection of a trophy brown bullhead that measured 15.19 inches and weighed 2.33 pounds.  

Biologist Reports

Regulations

The catch and release regulations that were previously posted have been lifted. New regulations for the fishery:

Largemouth Bass: 14” to 22” protected slot limit, no harvest of bass within this size range. 2 fish per person/day with only one bass greater than 22”

Sunfish Species: No size limit, 25 per person/day

Black Crappie: No size limit, 25 per person/day

Channel Catfish: 18” minimum size limit, 5 per person/day

No use of cast nets. No bow fishing allowed.

Grass Carp: Catch and Release regulations apply to any grass carp if caught

Facilities

There is a fishing pier, playground, picnic shelter, hiking/nature trail, and restrooms available for family or group-use 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 Echo Lake Park, please contact:

County of Henrico Recreation and Parks
P.O. Box 27032
Richmond, Virginia 23273
Phone: (804) 501-7275