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Swan Lake

Swan 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 13-acre lake is one of the main attractions at this park. There are picnic and handicap facilities available within the park. The Park contains two other nearby lakes, Fountain (Boat) Lake and Shields Lake. Channel catfish are stocked annually, and the lake also contains reproducing populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, and brown bullheads.

Maps & Directions

Swan 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

Fishing Opportunities

Swan Lake is the middle lake in the Park’s series of three impoundments. The entire shoreline of the lake is accessible to anglers. Some of the best fish habitat in the form of downed trees can be found around the island. Reaching the island with your favorite lure might be one heck of a cast. Anglers are encouraged to find the edges to the flats that provide a change in contour from the shallow regions that provide limited cover for fish.   

DGIF Fisheries staff conducted an electrofishing survey of Swan Lake on April 18, 2019. The survey revealed limited species diversity with only 5 species collected. Collected species in order of overall abundance were largemouth bass, green sunfish, channel catfish, bluegill, and American eel. The limited collection of largemouth bass was centered around the collection of juvenile bass from the 2018-year class along with a few adult bass. The largest bass by length measured 18.9 inches. The heaviest bass weighed 3.46 pounds. Half of the collected bass were found tucked in tight to the downed trees on the back side of the island.

The survey revealed some serious limitations with very few sunfish collected. Collected green sunfish ranged in size from 3 to 5.4 inches. Past surveys have shown an abundance of juvenile yellow perch present. It is unclear how much of an impact these 3 to 5-inch yellow perch had on the recruitment of bluegill and green sunfish fingerlings. No yellow perch were collected during the 2019 survey. Cormorants have been a serious problem these last few years on all of the Byrd Park lakes. It is difficult to assess how much of an impact they have had on the overall dynamics of the fishery. 

The 2019 electrofishing survey revealed two healthy channel catfish that weighed in at 4.02 and 5.02 pounds. These fish are holdovers from one of the past fall stockings. These channel catfish were in wonderful condition with the relative weight value of 127. They were found within close proximity of the island where the majority of juvenile green sunfish were holding tight to the rocks. 

Biologist Reports

Regulations

Channel catfish averaging 1/2 pound each are stocked annually.

Channel catfish creel limit of 5 catfish/person with a minimum size limit of 15 inches

Regulations for all other species are as follows:

Largemouth bass – 18 inch minimum, 1 per day

Bream (bluegill) – no minimum size, 50 fish per person per day

Crappie – no minimum size, 25 per day.

Facilities

There are picnic and handicap facilities available year-round.

No boat ramp available. Small kayaks and canoes can be launched. Please contact Richmond Parks & Recreation for additional details on kayak and canoe use.

More Information

For fisheries information, please contact:

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

For additional information about Swan 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