The headwaters of the North Fork of the Moormans River forms along the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western Albemarle County and is located within the boundaries of the Shenandoah National Park. This stream once provided one of the best angling opportunities for native trout in the Commonwealth until the June 1995 flood. Flood waters and debris flows from this event, however, caused extensive alterations to two thirds of this stream’s native trout habitat and eliminated canopy cover in the lower river sections that is needed for summer shading.
Since the 1995 flood, the river has slowly begun to heal itself. Riparian vegetation has reappeared and portions of the stream are again shaded during the summer. Instream habitat has also improved as hydrologic processes have begun to heal the stream corridor from the channelization that occurred during the flood resulting in more desirable riffle, run, and pool complexes.
Maps & Directions
Access to the lower section of the NF Moormans River can be gained by following Rt. 614 west of White Hall till it dead ends at the Charlottesville Water Authority/Shenandoah National Park boundary. The headwaters of the NF Moormans River can be accessed by foot from Skyline Drive near Blackrock Gap. Detailed maps are available from the Shenandoah National Park.
Map to Moormans River (N and S. Forks):
The North Fork Moormans River offers excellent native brook trout fishing in its headwaters. Adult brook trout range from 7″-9″, with an occasional larger fish. The lower reaches of the stream still suffer from the effects of the 1995 flood and as a result native brook trout numbers are low. Additionally, a small population of wild rainbow trout resides in the lower section. The section of stream with in the Shenandoah National Park is open to angling as a catch and release fishery with single point hook artificial lures only. No bait may be in possession while fishing these waters and all trout caught must be immediately released unharmed.
Downstream of the Shenandoah National Park boundary the North Fork is managed as a put and take trout fishery till it empties into Sugar Hollow Reservoir. Anglers wishing to fish the put and take section are required to have a trout license in addition to a general fishing license. No lure or bait restrictions are in place on the stocked portion of stream. The minimum size limit is 7″ and the daily creel limit is 6 fish.
Additional information can be obtained by calling:
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
Fredericksburg Regional Office
Shenandoah National Park