Gardy’s Millpond is a 75-acre impoundment located in a tranquil setting along the Westmoreland and Northumberland county line in northeast Virginia. A new dam was built there soon after Hurricane Bob caused severe damage to the structural integrity of the impoundment in 1985. The pond was subsequently stocked with fish and re-opened to public fishing in 1990.
The pond is relatively shallow with an average depth of about 4 feet. The upstream portion of the impoundment is swampy in nature and the shoreline is largely forested. If you’re looking to get away from it all and find a quiet spot to fish, this is it. The shallow nature of the pond allows for extensive cover of lily pads along the shoreline and the shallow flats. Many species that inhabit Gardy’s Millpond will use the cover of the lily pads for protection and for an ambush point to find food. The lily pads to the right of the boat ramp are good spots for redear sunfish and bluegill.
A portion of Route 617 cuts across the top of the dam for Gardy’s Millpond. The boat ramp area is located just off of Route 617 after you cross the over the dam.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) requires 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 located on route 617 off route 202, about 3 miles northwest of Callao.
Department fisheries biologists sampled Gardy’s Millpond on May 24th, 2018. The sample revealed moderate diversity with 10 fish species collected. The survey was not as exciting as past years, but the majority of action came from the largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish. These species will primarily provide most of the action for anglers that fish Gardy’s Millpond.
The largemouth bass population appears to be reasonably balanced when looking at the overall size structure of collected bass. The survey collected 49 bass over the 40 minutes of electrofishing effort. The catch rate of 73.5 bass/hr showed a slight decline from the 2016 survey (CPUE = 77 bass/hr). The two most recent surveys have shown some stability to the bass population when compared to the record catch rate encountered in 2007 (CPUE = 176.5 bass/hr). The bass length distribution ranged from 4.5 to 22.6 inches in length. The largest bass weighed in at 6 pounds. There were 29 bass that were of quality-size (12 inches or greater). Nineteen of these quality bass also reached into the preferred-size range (≥ 15 inches). The catch rate of preferred-sized bass (CPUE = 28.5 bass/hr) is greater than the majority of impoundments in Region 1, District 1. A high proportion of the bass were in the 14 – 17 inch range. Anglers can expect the bass to feed primarily upon the sunfish that are present. Some of the larger bass in the system might be tempted to try their luck at chasing down the gizzard shad that are present.
The survey collected a total of 379 bluegill over the course of 2 sample runs. The catch rate of 568.5 fish/hr showed a large decline when compared to the 2016 survey (CPUE = 923 fish/hr). The bluegill length distribution was 1.5 – 8 inches with a large proportion of fish in the 3 – 5 inch range. The collection revealed a limited abundance of bluegill less than 3 inches in size. This limited presence is most likely a reflection of heavy predation from the black crappie population. The survey did not yield nearly as many larger bluegill as past surveys.
The redear sunfish population appears to be in decent condition. A total of 43 redear sunfish (CPUE = 64.5 fish/hr) were collected with a high proportion of the sample consisting of fish in the 5 – 6 inch range. A good assortment of 7 – 9 inch fish were also present. The survey revealed limited recruitment from the past spawns with only 3 fish less than 5 inches in length. The 2018 catch rate showed a decline when compared to the 2016 survey (CPUE = 82 fish/hr). This may be a reflection of the variability of sampling from year to year or the result of increased angler harvest. The majority of the redear sunfish were found along the shoreline of the northern creek arm.
The electrofishing survey revealed a decreased abundance of black crappie with only 14 collected. This catch rate of 21 fish/hr pales in comparison to the 2016 CPUE of 180 fish/hr. The schooling nature of black crappie makes for a hit or miss situation when it comes to encountering them during your typical shoreline electrofishing. The 2018 size distribution ranged from 3.5 – 10 inches with the majority in the 6 to 8 inch range. The last two surveys have revealed the black crappie relative weight values to be 86 and 88 respectively. These less than ideal values show the fish to be having problems finding enough forage of adequate size. These hungry crappie might make things a lot easier for anglers that are targeting them.
Gardy’s Millpond provides some additional species diversity in the form of bowfin, common carp, American eel, chain pickerel, warmouth sunfish, and gizzard shad. These species were collected in limited abundance, but they may provide some excitement for anglers from time to time.
- No outboard engines allowed, 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.
- Statewide regulations apply for all fish species
DWR fisheries biologists conducted an electrofishing survey of Gardy’s Millpond on May 24, 2018. This sample was used to determine the status of the fishery and to see if any noticeable changes have occurred since the 2016 survey. The survey consisted of two 20 minute runs for a combined effort of 40 minutes. These full community runs collected a total 520 fish with a diversity of 10 fish species. The bluegill component of the survey consisted of 379 fish which accounted for roughly 73% of the total catch. Gardy’s Millpond is a shallow water body with very little deep-water refuge. The late May survey was conducted in hopes of finding a large percentage of the bass population transitioning from their post spawn pattern as the sunfish populations started to kick into their prime spawning season.
Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions
Facilities include a boat ramp, parking lot, and courtesy pier. Limited bank fishing areas are present in and around the parking lot.
For more information regarding Gardy’s Millpond, please contact:
Department of Wildlife Resources
3801 John Tyler Memorial Hwy.
Charles City, VA 23030
Phone: (804) 829-6580, Ext. 126