Lee Hall is a 230-acre reservoir owned by the City of Newport News. The reservoir is located within the Newport News Park. Newport News Park has a total area of roughly 8,000 acres that makes it one of the largest municipal parks east of the Mississippi River. Lee Hall Reservoir is located a few miles to the west of Newport News and is easily visible from Interstate 64 and State Route 143. Both roads have bridges that cross the reservoir. The bridges of these two roads divide the upper and middle basins of the reservoir. The middle and lower basins are connected by pipe and fishing is prohibited from the lower basin. A water treatment plant draws from the lower basin.
Newport News Park offers a variety of recreational activities for the family. Anglers can try their luck for the variety of fish species that are present in Lee Hall Reservoir. A total of 16 fish species were collected during the electrofishing survey of 2018. The major species of interest to most anglers are the largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, and redear sunfish.
Maps & Directions
The lake is located off Route 143, via the Lee Hall (Route 143) or Fort Eustis Blvd. (Route 105) exits off I-64. For more information call the Newport News Department of Parks and Recreation, (757) 886-7912. Map
The 2018 electrofishing survey indicated a favorable increase in catch rate of largemouth bass. A total of 126 bass were collected for a CPUE of 94.5 fish/hr. The 2015 survey had a slightly lower catch rate of 89.3 fish/hr. The collected bass ranged in size from 1 – 20 inches with a high proportion of fish in the 13 – 16 inch range. The first survey run along the shoreline adjacent to Route 143 yielded the highest concentration of bass with 53 collected. It appeared that the bass were attracted to the deeper water along this stretch of shoreline. The largest bass collected measured 20.4 inches and weighed 5.25 pounds. Past electrofishing surveys over the years have yielded a limited number of 6 – 7 pound bass.
The electrofishing survey revealed a decent abundance of bluegill. A total of 320 bluegill (CPUE = 240/hr) showed an increase from 2015 (CPUE = 97.5 fish/hr). The majority of the bluegill were found during the two survey runs within the middle reservoir basin. Decreased bluegill abundance was observed during the two lower basin survey runs. The bluegill length distribution ranged from 2 – 6.6 inches with the majority of the fish in the 3 – 4 inch range. Lee Hall Reservoir is one of the terminal water supplies for the City of Newport News. This high flow through system is not one of the most productive fisheries when it comes to producing large bluegill.
The survey produced a total of 122 redear sunfish (CPUE = 91.5 fish/hr), which showed a favorable increase from 2015 (CPUE = 25.5 fish/hr). The redear sunfish length distribution was 2 – 10 inches with a large proportion of fish less than 5 inches in length. It appears the recruitment form the 2017 year class was very successful based on the collection of 2 – 3.5 inch fish. These fish will eventually mature to provide anglers some excitement in a few years.
The black crappie population within Lee Hall Reservoir has some limitations as past surveys have never been overly impressed by the abundance of crappie. The 2018 survey collected a total of only 13 black crappie with fish ranging in size from 4 – 12.5 inches. Several year classes of recruitment were observed from this small sample set. The 2015 survey did slightly better with 14 crappie. Anglers may be able to find a few schools of crappie to allow for some excitement, but don’t expect to be blown away by the crappie fishing action.
The survey collected a total of 22 yellow perch in the 4 – 12 inch range. Collected yellow perch were in good shape with high relative weight values. The yellow perch are taking advantage of the increased densities of juvenile bluegill and redear sunfish.
- Anglers need to purchase the daily or yearly fishing permit before fishing on Lee Hall Reservoir. The campground office will provide the necessary permits.
- Fishing hours are set by the park hours and vary throughout the year.
- Outboard engines are prohibited. Electric motors can be used.
- Statewide regulations apply to all fish species.
Department fisheries biologist conducted an electrofishing survey of Lee Hall Reservoir on May 29th, 2018. The survey yielded the collection of 16 fish species. The majority of the collection were bluegill, largemouth bass, and redear sunfish. The bluegill catch rate showed a large increase from the 2015 survey. The largemouth bass catch rate showed a slight increase when compared to the 2015 survey. The redear sunfish population showed the largest increase of all species with the 2015 catch rate of 25.5 fish/hr improving to 91.5 fish/hr in 2018. Seven hundred additional triploid grass carp were stocked into Lee Hall Reservoir by Newport News Waterworks staff in hopes of having an impact on the dense aquatic vegetation that has become a nuisance in certain areas of the reservoir.
Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions
Lee Hall is another excellent family spot, providing playgrounds, campgrounds, picnic shelters, nature trails, boat ramps, boat rentals, and some shore fishing. Newport News Park rents boats from two locations on the reservoir. Boats can be rented year round from the campsite office which is located off of Route 143 to the west of the main entrance. Boats can also be rented on weekends and holidays during the summer from the Lee Hall Fishing Area in the middle of the park.
Private boats can be launched from both of these areas. A daily fee of $5 is required to launch private boats, or an annual permit may be purchased for $50. Gasoline-powered outboards are prohibited. Anglers are required to purchase a daily fishing permit for $2 if they plan on fishing from the pier and the adjacent shoreline area. A yearly shore pass of $25 is also available. Anglers are also required to have a valid VA state fishing license to fish Lee Hall Reservoir. An access area located at the Route 143 bridge allows anglers to launch private boats for easier access to the middle basin. Additional information on boat rentals can be obtained by calling the Newport News Department of Parks and Recreation at (757) 886-7912.
For further information please contact:
Department of Wildlife Resources
3801 John Tyler Memorial Hwy.
Charles City, VA 23030
Phone: (804) 829-6580, Ext. 126