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Warmwater Hatchery Program A photo of a hatchery

The Division of Natural Resources seeks to provide a variety of angling opportunities to meet increasing demands on our recreational fisheries, while also conserving and protecting this vital resource. One way that the DNR addresses this need is through its fish hatchery programs. Many anglers are aware of the successful trout hatchery and stocking program that provides and enhances fishing in small impoundments and streams statewide. The state’s warmwater hatchery and stocking program, although a little less well known, is extremely significant to all West Virginia anglers.

West Virginia’s warmwater hatchery program has been instrumental in providing fishing opportunities to anglers for nearly 60 years. For most of that time, the Palestine Hatchery was the state’s primary facility dedicated to the production of warmwater species. Millions of walleye, musky, tiger musky, channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, saugeye, sunfish, and largemouth and smallmouth bass have been raised over the years at Palestine Hatchery, and stocked into streams and lakes across the state. Consequently, the Palestine Hatchery has been a key to most of West Virginia’s fishery management successes.

A recent addition to the hatchery program, the Apple Grove Hatchery in Mason County, will further enhance the DNR’s fish production capabilities providing increased angling opportunities to West Virginia’s anglers. This new facility has 34 ponds totaling 43 acres and a 5-acre water supply reservoir that nearly doubles the DNR’s fish production capabilities. A modern, 9,300 square-foot hatchery building will further improve fish production efforts enhancing the DNR’s ability to spawn, rear, and ultimately stock fish into West Virginia’s waters. Musky, tiger musky, walleye, channel catfish, and other species will be raised at Apple Grove Hatchery.

The Apple Grove and Palestine hatcheries are vital to the DNR’s ability to provide fish for recreational angling and restoration efforts throughout West Virginia. These facilities in conjunction with modern and science-based fishery management efforts conducted by the DNR’s staff fishery biologists will be key to enhancing the state’s recreational fisheries for the enjoyment of all.


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