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  /  Outdoors   /  West Virginia Division Of Natural Resources 2021 Fishing Regulations

West Virginia Division Of Natural Resources 2021 Fishing Regulations

Black Bass

Catch-and-release:

For waters listed below

  1. All black bass (smallmouth, spotted and largemouth) caught must be returned to the water at once.
  2. No black bass shall be in the angler’s possession (creel limit 0) while fishing in designated catch-and-release lakes and streams.

Lakes:

Dunkard Fork, Edwards Run Pond, Elk Fork, Kimsey Run, Millers Fork Pond, North Bend, O’Brien, Rockhouse, Tuckahoe, Upper Mud and Woodrum.

Streams:

New River – Fayette, Raleigh and Summers counties

12-mile section from the I-64 bridge at Sandstone downstream to MPS Grandview Sandbar access site near Quinnimont. Access by state Route 41 at Quinnimont and state Route 20 at Sandstone.

South Branch of Potomac River – Hardy and Hampshire counties

Area 1 – 8-mile section in Hardy County from 3 miles east of Petersburg at the routes 28, 55 and 220 bridge (Petersburg Gap bridge) downstream to the county Route 13 bridge (Fisher Bridge).

Area 2 – 9.5-mile section in Hampshire County from the routes 28 and 50 bridge (Romeny bridge) downstream to the state Route 28 bridge (Blue Beach bridge).

Slot Limit:

New River

  1. All black bass (smallmouth, spotted and largemouth) from 14 to 22 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of six black bass with only one being over 22 inches.
  3. This regulation is in effect from the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers upstream to the West Virginia/Virginia state line, excluding Bluestone Lake (from the dam upstream to the mouth of Indian Creek) and the 12-mile catch and release section (from the Grandview sandbar boat ramps upstream to the I-64 bridge at Sandstone).

South Mill Creek Lake and Parker Hollow Lake

  1. All black bass (smallmouth, spotted and largemouth) from 12 to 16 inches must be returned to the water at once.
  2. All black bass harvested must be in accordance with the daily creel limit regulation.

Greenbrier River – Greenbrier County

  1. All black bass (smallmouth, spotted and largemouth) from 12 to 20 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limits of one black bass over 20 inches caught within the slot limit area. Black bass under 12 inches may be harvested. All black bass harvested must be in accordance with the daily creel limit regulation.

Minimum Size Limit:

Stonewall Jackson Lake

  1. Daily creel limit of one black bass (smallmouth, spotted and largemouth) 18 inches or longer.
  2. Black bass under 18 inches may be harvested.
  3. All black bass harvested must be in accordance with the daily creel limit regulation.
  4. Registered bass tournament anglers who are participating in DNR-permitted tournaments only are excluded from this regulation.

For waters listed below

All black bass (smallmouth, spotted and largemouth) under 12 inches long must be returned to the water at once.

Lakes:

Barboursville, Beech Fork, Chief Logan and Conaway Run.

Streams:

Wheeling Creek – Marshall and Ohio counties

Entire length.

Ohio River

Entire length of Ohio River from the mouth of Mill Creek, Hancock County, downstream to the mouth of the Big Sandy River, Wayne County. This regulation applies to all waters in the Ohio River Reciprocal Agreement with the State of Ohio.

Children and Class Q Handicap Fishing Areas

For waters listed below

  1. Areas are managed under special regulations March-May.
  2. During this period fishing is restricted to children 14 years of age or under and to people with disabilities holding a Class Q permit.
  3. Fishing permitted during daylight hours only.
  4. Creel limit is four trout.
  5. Another person may assist with baiting hooks and removing fish.

Lakes:

Baker Lake – Ohio County

3-acre lake in Bear Rock Lakes WMA. Access by county Route 41/6.

Coonskin Park Pond – Kanawha County

2.7-acre pond in Coonskin Park. Access is off I-77, Exit 1, U.S. Route 119 north to Henry Shores Drive.

Handley Pond – Pocahontas County

5-acre pond on the Handley WMA. Access by county Route 17 and 17/1 that intersects U.S. Route 219 at Edray north of Marlinton.

Logan County Airport Pond

1-acre pond. Access by county Route 119/8 off state Route 17.

Millers Fork Pond – Wayne County

5-acre pond on the Beech Fork Lake WMA. Access by county Route 22 off county Route 17.

Raleigh County Airport Pond

1-acre pond at the entrance to the Raleigh County Airport. Access by county Route 9/9 off I-64 at Airport Exit 125-B.

Underwood Lake – Cabell County

1-acre pond on Huntington YMCA property. Access by state Route 2.

Westover Park Pond – Monongalia County

1-acre pond located at the Westover Park just off U.S. Route 19 approximately 0.5 mile east of I-79 Westover exit.

Clear Fork – Wyoming County

300-yeard section of Clear Fork in Gilliand Park in Oceana. Access is by Route 10.

Mash Fork of Camp Creek – Mercer County

100-yeard section of Mash Fork in Camp Creek State Park/State Forest at Mash Fork Waterfalls. Access is by county Route 19/5 from I-77, exit 20.

Catfish:

For waters listed below

  1. Daily creel limit of four flathead catfish, of which only one may be 35 inches or longer.
  2. Possession limit of eight.

Streams:

Kanawha River

Mouth of Kanawha River extending upstream to the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers.

Ohio River

Includes West Virginia tributaries within the reciprocal agreement boundaries.

Hand-fishing for catfish only:

  1. Season for hand-fishing runs from June 15 through August 31 with fishing permitted from sunrise to sunset.
  2. Hand-fishing is prohibited in all state-managed impoundments except Stonecoal, Hawks Nest, Mt. Storm, Cheat and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes.
  3. Daily creel limit for all catfish species taken by hand-fishing is four total with only one fish allowed to be over 35 inches and only two of which may be blue catfish (minimum length 24″). In waters with special regulations, the more restrictive regulations apply. The daily creel limit for hand-fishing counts as part of any daily limit for hook and line fishing.
  4. Use or possession of hooks, gaffs, spears or anything other than hands while hand-fishing is prohibited, as is the use of bait or fish attractors. Only naturally-occurring cavities and naturally-occurring habitat may be hand-fished. The placement or use of artificial cavities and nesting boxes for hand-fishing is prohibited. The use of SCUBA gear or any other artificial breathing apparatus to hand-fish is prohibited.

Muskellunge:

Catch-and-release

For waters listed below

  1. All muskellunge caught must be returned to the water at once.
  2. No muskellunge shall be in the angler’s possession while on stream sections designated as catch-and-release streams.

Streams:

Buckhannon River – Upshur County

6.5-mile section beginning at the City of Buckhannon’s water supply dam and continuing upstream to the first riffle. Included in this area is the section of French Creek from its mouth to its first riffle. The entire stream section is commonly referred to as Buckhannon Pond.

Middle Island Creek – Tyler County

6-mile section beginning at the state Route 18 bridge near Centerville and continuing downstream to the lower water bridge near the Jug WMA. Included in this area are sections of Indian Creek and McElroy Creek from their mouths to their first riffles.

Minimum Size Limit

North Bend Lake

  1. All muskellunge inder 52 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of one muskellunge.

Stonewall Jackson Lake

  1. All muskellunge under 52 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of one muskellunge.

North Fork Hughes River – Ritchie County

1.3-mile section extending from North Bend Lake Dam downstream to the CR 809 bridge near the North Bend State Park campground.

  1. All muskellunge under 40 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of one muskellunge.

Trout:

For catch-and-release waters

  1. Fishing permitted during daylight hours only, except that on the three North Branch of the Potomac River Catch-and-Release Trout Fishing Areas fishing is permitted between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. only.
  2. Only artificial flies and lures made of metal, wood, feathers, hair, or synthetic material may be used or possessed on catch-and-release trout streams. No lure or fly with any scent, oil, or edible enticement added onto, or impreganted into (regardless if the scent is added in the manufacturing process or applied afterward), may be used or possessed on any catch-and-release trout stream.
  3. Multiple hook lures must have barbless hooks (except on the North Branch of the Potomac River Catch and Release areas).
  4. Single hook lures may have barbed hooks.
  5. All trout caught must be returned to the water at once.
  6. No trout shall be in the angler’s possession while on stream sections designated as catch-and-release streams.
  7. Powerbait, Gulp and other manufactured scented baits are considered illegal under this section and may not be used or possessed on catch-and-release streams.

Streams:

Back Fork of Elk River – Webster County

4-mile section beginning 2 miles upstream from Webster Springs and extending upstream. Access by county Routes 24 and 24/3.

Blackwater River – Tucker County

3.5-mile section from the county Route 29/1 bridge in Blackwater Falls State Park downstream to the mouth of North Fork.

Bluestone River – Summers County

1-mile section from the mouth of Mountain Creek downstream to a stream gauge station within Pipestem State Park.

Cranberry River – Webster, Pocahontas and Nicholas counties

Area 1 – 4.3-mile section from the junction of the North and South forks downstream to the low water bridge at Dogway Fork. Access by foot on National Forest Route 76 from the Cranberry Glades parking area.

Area 2 – Nicholas County – 1.2-mile section from the Woodbine Recreation Area downstream to Camp Splinter (Jakeman Run). Access by National Forest Route 76 from Richwood.

Elk River – Randolph County

2-mile section from the Elk Springs Campground downstream to Rose Run Bridge. Access by county Route 49 off state Route 15 about 4 miles west of Valley Head.

Glade Creek of New River – Raleigh County

3-mile section from the mouth upstream to the National Park Service foot bridge. Access by Glade Creek Road off state Route 41.

Middle Fork of Williams River and tributaries – Webster/Pocahontas counties

Mill Creek – Randolph County

Entire length of Mill Creek and its tributaries within Kumbrabow State forest.

North Branch of Potomac River – Grant and Mineral counties

See the current Maryland Fishing Regulations for special regulations on the North Branch of the Potomac and Potomac Rivers.

North Fork of Cherry River – Nicholas County

1.8-mile section extending upstream from Richwood’s water supply dam to first state Route 39 bridge. Access by state Route 39.

North Fork of Cranberry River – Pocahontas County

0.25-mile section from the mouth upstream to the limestone treatment dam. Access by foot on National Forest Route 76.

North Fork of the South Branch – Pendleton County

0.75-mile section at the mouth of Seneca Creek near Seneca Rocks Visitors Center. Access by county Route 28/3 at junction of state Route 28 and U.S. Route 33 at Seneca Rocks.

Otter Creek and tributaries – Randolph/Tucker counties

Paint Creek – Fayette County

2-mile section from mouth of Skitter Creek upstream to mouth of Milburn Creek. Access is by county Route 15.

Red Creek and tributaries – Tucker County

Upstream of county Route 45 bridge.

Seneca Creek – Pendleton County

0.20-mile section from the mouth extending upstream to the Route 28 bridge.

Shavers Fork of Cheat River – Randolph County

Area 1 – 5.5-mile section in Monongahela National Forest, north of U.S. Route 250, from the mouth of Whitmeadow Run downstream to the mouth of McGee Run. Access by National Forest Route 92, which intersects U.S. Route 250 four miles west of Cheat Bridge.

Area 2 – 0.9-mile section encompassing the Stuart Recreation Area day-use area downstream of Bowden. Access by foot from county Route 6 on River Loop Trail, or by driving into Stuart Recreation Area to river (U.S. Forest Service day-use fee charged from mid-April through September).

Slatyfork section of Elk River – Pocahontas County

4.6-mile section from the junction of Big Spring and Old Field forks downstream to the mouth of Dry Branch, including Props Run and Big Run. Access by foot from county Route 219/2 on the north and 219/12 on the south.

South Branch of the Potomac River – Pendleton County

1-mile section beginning 2 miles below U.S. Route 220 at Eagle Rock and extending downstream. Access by county Route 2.

Tea Creek and tributaries – Pocahontas County

Upstream of Tea Creek Campground

Williams River – Pocahontas County

2-mile section beginning 2 miles below Tea Creek and extending downstream. Access by National Forest Route 86.

NOTE: The Williams River Road will be closed to vehicle traffic for two years due to road improvements. The Williams River will continue to be stocked, and the road will remain open for foot and bicycle traffic during this time.

Delayed Harvest Streams:

For waters listed below

  1. Catch-and-release regulations apply: October 1 – May 31.
  2. General regulations apply: June 1 – September 30.

Streams:

Clear Fork of the Guyandotte River – Wyoming County

1-mile section from the R. D. Bailey WMA manager’s residence downstream to the state Route 6 bridge.

Middle Wheeling Creek – Ohio County

1.2-mile section from just above the upper limits of Middle Wheeling Creek Lake upstream to mouth of Gillespie Run. Access by county Route 39/6.

Fly Fishing Only:

For waters listed below

  1. Fishing permitted during daylight hours only.
  2. Only artificial flies and streamers may be used or in possession on any of the fly fishing-only streams.
  3. Only conventional fly fishing tackle may be used.
  4. Open-face and closed-face spinning or spincast reels are prohibited.
  5. All fish caught must be returned to water at once.
  6. No trout shall be in the angler’s possession while on stream sections designated as fly-fishing-only streams.
  7. No lure or fly with any scent, oil, or edible enticement added onto, or inpregnated into (regardless if the scent is added in the manufacturing process or applied afterward), may be used or possessed on any fly-fishing-only trout stream.
  8. Powerbait, Gulp and other manufactured scented baits are considered illegal under this section and may not be used or possessed on catch-and-release streams.

Streams:

Dogway Fork of the Cranberry – Webster, Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties

Main stream and all tributaries of Dogway Fork. Access by foot on National Forest Route 78.

Edwards Run – Hampshire County

Upstream of the Edwards Run Pond 1.25 miles to the upstream boundary of Edwards Run WMA.

Milligan Creek – Greenbrier County

Marked area about 1 mile north of U.S. Route 60 from the county Route 60/15 bridge extending downstream about 0.33-mile to a fence crossing.

Red Run of Dry Fork – Tucker County

Main stream and all the tributaries of Red Run. Access by foot from state Route 72 and National Forest Route 13.

Second Creek – Greenbrier and Monroe Counties

Marked 1.5-mile section on the Monroe/Greenbrier county line at Rodgers Mill.

Spring Run – Grant County

Marked one mile section along Spring Run Road near Dorcas.

Thorn Creek – Pendleton County

Marked 0.5-mile section beginning approximately 3 miles above the mouth. Access is by county Route 20.

Reduced Creel Limit:

Stephens Lake – Raleigh County

Daily creel limit of two trout.

Walleye:

Minimum Size Limit:

Cheat River, Kanawha River, (from Buffalo Bridge to base of Winfield Dam) Monongahela River, Tygart River and West Fork River (downstream of Stonewall Jackson Lake Dam), as well as Burnsville, Cheat, Stephens, Stonecoal and Tygart Lakes

  1. All walleye under 15 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of eight walleye.

Ohio River, (including Ohio River tributary reciprocal boundaries)

  1. All walleye under 18 inches long must be returned t the water at once.
  2. No walleye shall be in the angler’s possession while on the waters designated as catch-and-release.

Slot Limit:

Bluestone, Coal, Elk (including Sutton Lake), Greenbrier, Gauley (excluding Summersville Lake-Summersville Dam upstream to mouth of Persinger Creek), Kanawha (upstream of Winfield Locks and Dam) and New (excluding no-harvest area near Sandstone) rivers, including all tributaries

  1. All walleye from 20 to 30 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of two walleye, only one of which may be over 30 inches long.

Summersville Lake (Summersville Dam upstream to mouth of Persinger Creek)

  1. All walleye from 20 to 30 inches long must be returned to the water at once.
  2. Daily creel limit of eight walleye, only one of which may be over 30 inches long.

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