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Mill Creek Reservoir

Mill Creek Reservoir is a 189-acre impoundment located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Amherst County. This is the largest of the three public reservoirs owned by the County and provides opportunities for fishing and family outings. The various facilities include picnic tables and grills, restrooms, play area, boat ramp, and associated parking. The lake is open year round but nighttime activities are prohibited except for fishing. Anglers are required to obtain a permit from the county to fish at night. Boats propelled by oar or electric motors are welcome but outboard motor use is prohibited.

Impounded in 1985, Mill Creek Lake provides a picturesque setting for visitors with mountain views and wooded shoreline. Largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie, channel catfish and yellow perch are all species that can be caught with bass and crappie the most sought after species by anglers. There is ample mowed bank fishing areas but this reservoir experiences high fishing pressure.

Maps & Directions

Mill Creek Reservoir can be accessed by taking route 60 to Lowesville Road (Rt. 718), turn right onto route 610, and bear left at the first intersection. Map


Mill Creek Lake has an average fish population compared to other nearby small lakes. Recent overcrowding of small stunted largemouth bass has reduced the number of larger bass and crappie. Regulations changed in 2019 to assist with restructuring the bass population and improve crappie numbers. Sunfish numbers are good and provide a respectable fishery. Channel catfish are stocked annually and grass carp are stocked occasionally to control aquatic vegetation. Any grass carp caught must be immediately released unharmed.

Largemouth bass

Largemouth bass were over abundant, but their numbers have declined which should allow for better growth and provide additional larger bass. Most of the bass are still less than 14 inches. Largemouth bass are currently regulated with a 14-18 inch protected slot limit. All bass caught between 14 and 18 inches should be immediately released unharmed. The size limit was recently changed from a 14 inch minimum to reduce the number of small stunted bass while protecting some of the larger bass in the lake.


The crappie population continues to fluctuate due to cyclic reproduction. Recent high bass densities have also contributed to low crappie reproduction and survival.  Current crappie numbers are fair but increasing, this population experiences high harvest rates and most crappie are removed when they reach the 9-inch minimum length limit. Anglers looking for crappie should check any type of shoreline structure such as beaver lodges, fallen trees, or brush piles in the spring and deeper water during other months.


Bluegill and redear sunfish are both present in Mill Creek Lake.  While bluegill are the most abundant sunfish species, redear are also present and tend to be much larger. Anglers can expect to catch good numbers of bluegill up to 7 inches and redear sunfish up to 9 inches. Beginning in late April or early May, bluegill begin to move shallow for spawning but redear sunfish spawn earlier, typically mid to late April.


There is a good channel catfish fishery at Mill Creek Lake. There is no natural reproduction, and the population is dependent on stocking. Approximately 3,700 channel catfish are stocked annually, when available, to sustain the catfish fishery.

See the most recent Biologist Report below for more details and fish population trends.

Biologist Reports


Largemouth Bass

  • 5 fish per day
  • 14–18 inch protected slot limit, all bass caught between 14 and 18 inches must be immediately released


  • 5 fish per day
  • 15 inch minimum size limit


  • 25 fish per day
  • 9 inch minimum size limit


  • 50 fish per day
  • No size limit

Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions

The various facilities include picnic tables and grills, restrooms, play area, boat ramp, and associated parking. There is also ample mowed bank fishing areas available.

Permits for night fishing are available through Amherst County at 434-946-9371.

More Information

DWR Regional Office
1132 Thomas Jefferson Road
Forest, VA 24551

Night Fishing Permit can be obtained by contacting:

Amherst County Recreation and Parks Department
Phone: 434-946-9371