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Shields Lake

Shields Lake is located in Byrd Park, which is owned and operated by The City of Richmond. Byrd Park is located on Boulevard Avenue in downtown Richmond. This beautiful 7-acre lake is one of the main attractions at this park. The entire shoreline is accessible to anglers. There are picnic and handicap facilities available within Byrd Park and they are available year-round. Shoreline fishing for handicapped anglers at Shields Lake is extremely limited. 

The Park contains two other nearby lakes, Fountain (Boat) Lake and Swan Lake. Channel catfish are stocked annually, and the lake also contains reproducing populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, yellow perch, and brown bullheads. Catchable-size trout are stocked in the lake from November through March over the course of 5 stocking events. Anglers that fish Shields Lake must possess a trout license in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is not required from May 1 through October 31 or for juveniles under age 16.

Maps & Directions

Shields Lake is located in Byrd Park, which is owned and operated by The City of Richmond. Byrd Park is located on Boulevard Avenue in downtown Richmond.

Map to Shields Lake:

Map

 

Fishing Opportunities

Shields Lake is the terminal impoundment located just below Swan Lake. The entire shoreline of the lake is accessible to anglers. The hillside provides a great shady spot to fish under the cover of the pine trees. The deeper water, although rather limited, can be found within casting range of the tree covered shoreline.

The majority of the angling pressure at Shields Lake is seasonal with trout being the target species from November through April and channel catfish drawing the interest from May through September. The largemouth bass population within Shields Lake has historically been limited in overall abundance. Supplemental stocking efforts have been conducted by DGIF staff in hopes of giving the population a beneficial jump start. 

The latest electrofishing survey conducted on April 18, 2019 revealed the presence of 7 fish species. The majority of past electrofishing surveys have been conducted during the fall. Past fall surveys have had their fair share of difficulties due to dense mats of hydrilla. The two past stocking efforts of grass carp have finally had some controlling force in limiting the amount of hydrilla growth. Species collected in order of overall abundance were: bluegill, green sunfish, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, bowfin, yellow perch, and American eel. Collected bass ranged in size from 4 to 17 inches with the average size at 12.5 inches. The collected bluegill ranged in size from 1 to 7.2 inches, with the majority in the 5 to 6-inch range. The collected green sunfish were juvenile fish in the 2 to 4-inch range. One of the highlights to the survey were the large brown bullhead that were collected. These fish weighed from 1.76 to 2.04 pounds. No channel catfish were found during the 4/18/2019 survey as the 2018 stocking did not occur. The 2019 channel catfish stocking consisted of 1,700 pounds of fish stocked in early May. The average size catfish weighed roughly 1 pound.     

A supplemental stocking of bass in the 8 to 12-inch range was conducted on April 6th, 2016. These fish were marked with blue colored Floy tags to allow for future identification to track growth rates and overall survival rate. There is no reward associated with these tags. Angler assistance with the reporting of any tagged bass caught is greatly appreciated. Anglers can call the Region 1 office at (804) 829-6580 ext. 126 to report any tagged bass.

Biologist Reports

Regulations

A trout license is required in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is NOT required from May 1 through October 31. Juveniles under age 16 need no licenses.

  • Trout: Four per day per angler
  • Catfish: Four (any size) per day per angler.
  • Anglers can only use one active fishing pole. 
  • Regulations for all other species are as follows:
  • Largemouth bass: 18 inch minimum, 1 per day
  • Bream (sunfish species): No minimum size, 50 fish per person per day
  • Crappie: No minimum size, 25 per day.
  • Catch and Release on all grass carp

Facilities

There are picnic and handicap facilities available year-round in other places within Byrd Park.

More Information

For fisheries information, please contact:

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Phone: (804) 829-6580 ext. 126

For additional information about Shield’s Lake and Byrd Park, please contact:

Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities
900 E. Broad Street, Room 407
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 646-5733