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Three Lakes Park

Three Lakes Park is owned and operated by Henrico County. The three lakes are actually old borrow pits dug during the construction of I-64. They now serve as the main attraction for the park. Fishing is allowed in two of the three lakes (No. 1 is 7 acres and No. 3 is 5 acres). The middle lake (No. 2) has a nature center with a large aquarium embedded in the shoreline, and it is closed to fishing. The nature center was badly damaged during Hurricane Isabel, but was rebuilt to become a very popular destination for county residents. No boats are allowed on the lakes, but most areas of Lake No. 1 can be accessed along the shoreline, at the picnic pavilion, and/or from the fishing pier. There is a playground, picnic shelter, and walking trails available for family or group-use year-round.

Lake No. 1 is immediately on the left after entering the parking lot; just walk past the gate and follow the hard path to the lake on the left. It has a maximum depth of about 6 feet. There are two small islands, both of which can be reached by casting from the pier or shoreline. Fish attractors have been placed at three locations to enhance angling opportunities. The lake can be rather turbid after heavy rain storms as a large amount of sand and silt is washed in from the surrounding watershed.

Maps & Directions

Three Lakes Park is owned and operated by Henrico County. It’s located in the northeastern portion of the county on Wilkinson Road, one mile east of Rt. 301.
Map

Fishing Opportunities

Lake No.1 as historically been one of the better public lakes for bass angling in the Richmond Metropolitan area. In the spring of 2000, this lake was incorporated into the Department’s Community Lakes Improvement program (CLIP) in an effort to sustain and improve the fishery. Under this program, additional bass, grass carp, hybrid bluegill, and harvestable-size channel catfish had been stocked. Past electrofishing surveys revealed a stunted population of bluegill with a strong population of bass up to 17 inches in total length. This lake and the other Henrico County Park impoundments have now been included into DGIF’s FishLocalVA initiative.  

The full community electrofishing survey conducted on April 30th, 2019 revealed the presence of 14 fish species. The two species that comprised the majority of the survey were bluegill (86%) and largemouth bass (6%). The survey collected a total of 497 bluegill with a high proportion of fish in the 3 to 5-inch range. The survey showed an increased concentration of 5 to 7-inch fish with the largest bluegill measured at 7.6 inches. The survey revealed additional species diversity with limited populations of redear, warmouth, and pumpkinseed sunfish. 

Three electrofishing survey days (4/23, 4/30, and 5/7) were used to access the largemouth bass population. The largemouth bass collections remained rather consistent with the majority of the bass collected from the upper half of the lake. The collected bass revealed several prominent year classes of recruitment, with a higher concentration of adult bass than any of the other Henrico County Park impoundments. The 2017 and 2018 year classes were observed in the collection, but did not impress with overall size and abundance. The survey was successful in catching a pair of 5-pound largemouth bass along with decent abundance of 2 to 3-pound bass. The presence of gizzard shad will provide forage for the adult bass that have switched from their diet of consuming small bluegill. Gizzard shad can provide an extra boost to the growth rate of bass. Three Lakes Park Lake #1 provides anglers the best chance out of the Henrico County Park impoundments at catching a 5-pound plus bass.   

The black crappie population appears to be rather limited. The three survey days collected only 18 black crappie with the majority of fish in the 5 to 7-inch range. One larger crappie of 11.7 inches provided additional excitement. Anglers should not expect to catch too many larger crappie at this time. The surveys revealed a limited abundance of channel catfish with only 3 collected. These fish were in great physical shape and ranged in size from 16 to 22 inches. We suspect that many catfish had been caught by anglers and plan to continue stocking this lake at the maximum allowable rate annually during the fall. The bowfin population within the lake will provide additional excitement for anglers. Bowfin are a native fish species to Virginia and they serve as another predator fish to feed upon the stunted bluegill population. Anglers are encouraged to practice catch and release on the bowfin.  

Lake No. 2 is closed to fishing.

Lake No.3 is not accessible to our sampling gear, and therefore, we have no information regarding the status of the fish populations there at this time. Efforts will hopefully be made during the fall of 2019 to see if a small electrofishing boat can be hand launched into the lake.

Biologist Reports

Regulations

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

Channel Catfish: Minimum size limit of 15 inches with a creel limit of 5/day

Regulations for all other species are as follows:

Largemouth bass – 18 inch minimum, 1 per day

Bluegill and redear sunfish – no minimum size, 25 fish per person per day

Crappie – no minimum size, 25 per day

Bowfin – creel limit of 5/person/day

Bow fishing is prohibited. Cast net use allowed for collection of gizzard shad for use on Lake #1.

Facilities

There is a playground, picnic shelter, and walking trails available for family or group-use year-round.

News

Three Lakes Nature Center & Aquarium

400 Sausiluta Drive
Richmond, VA
Contact Number: (804) 262-5055

Hours of Operation:

Spring (March-May):
Tuesday-Sunday, noon-4:30 pm

Summer (June-August):
Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-4:30 pm
Saturday-Sunday, noon-4:30 pm

Fall (September-November)
Tuesday-Sunday, noon-4:30 pm

Winter (December-February)
Saturday-Sunday, noon-4:30

County of Henrico

 

More Information

For fisheries information, please contact:

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

For additional information about Three Lakes Park, please contact:

County of Henrico Recreation and Parks
P.O. Box 27032
Richmond, Virginia 23273
Phone: (804) 501-7275