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West Virginia Stream Conditions

Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon

April 22, 2015

FISHING

BEECH FORK – Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304-525-4831 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/bbfns.htm for information and current lake levels.  Bass are being caught using soft plastics and crankbaits.

BLUESTONE – The lake is currently high and muddy so fishing is poor, however, once it begins to drop and clear fishing will pick up.  Spring is here and the fish are moving and feeding in preparation for spawning.  Crappie may be found near any structure such as downed trees or brush piles.  They will be hitting small minnows or doll flies.  Bass are being caught off rocky points and around downed trees using live bait and artificials such as spinnerbaits and plastic worms.  Anglers should look for points that have some cover such as stumps, logs, or weed beds.  Try slow rolling a spinnerbait, bumping off the stumps.  Some hybrid striped bass may be caught using large minnows.  Anglers should begin trying spots such as the mouth of Indian Creek or up the Bluestone Arm as these fish, even though infertile, still make mock spawning runs upstream.  Smallmouth bass are being caught in the tailwaters.  Successful anglers are using tube jigs in pumpkinseed or motor oil colors.  Anglers should be careful wading and wear your personal flotation devices.

BURNSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout April 22.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-853-2398 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/busns.htm .

EAST LYNN For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/eltns.htm .  Bass are being caught using soft plastics and crankbaits.

R.D. BAILEY – The lake is currently turbid but as the water clears fishing will begin to pick up.  Fish are beginning to move and feed in preparation for the spawn.  Crappie will spawn  around standing timber and brush piles and will hit small minnows.  For artificials, use doll flies in white and yellow.  Spotted bass are hitting plastic jigs in crawfish colors.  The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with points with downed trees another good spot to try.  Remember to fish slow!  Hybrid striped bass will be making a mock spawning run up stream in April so anglers may want to concentrate their efforts in the upper lake.  The trout stocked in the tailwaters are providing good fishing.  Best baits are corn, salmon eggs, and small jigs.

STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at normal pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  A few walleye have also been in about 10-15 feet of water.

STONEWALL JACKSON – The lake is at summer pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout April 7.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.

SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  Walleye are being caught off rocky points in about 10-15 feet of water.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout March 31.  For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304-872-3412 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/sugns.htm .

SUTTON – The lake is two feet below summer pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout April 22.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-765-2705 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm .

TYGART LAKE – Over the past month, the lake has risen several times above the summer pool elevation of 1,094 feet above sea level.  It is currently just higher than summer pool and predicted to remain at that level for the next few days.  Water clarity is milky.  Walleye should be finished spawning.  During the day, walleye anglers should fish 30 to 40 feet deep.  Smallmouth bass will become more active as the water temperatures increase.  White bass should start moving to the upper lake above Sandy Creek and can be caught with spinners or shallow-running crank baits.  The heads of coves will warm faster than the main lake during the next month and many fish will move to these areas.  Hundreds of Christmas trees have been placed by the WVDNR and US Army Corps of Engineers near the marina and Wildcat cove.  In the next week, trees will also be placed in the West Hill cove.  These trees are excellent fish attractors and crappie fishing can be very good.

High flows have resulted in plenty of walleyes moving through the dam to the tailwater.  Walleye fishing is best at flows above 1,500 cfs and trout fishing below 1,500 cfs.  Currently, the outflow is about 3,400 cfs and is predicted to decrease over the next couple of days.  The tailwater temperature is 50 degrees.  Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304-265-5953 for the current lake elevation and tailwater conditions.

NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters) – The river is a little high this week, but is predicted to fall over the next few days.  During high water conditions, some fish will move up against the bank and can be caught in the slack water along the shore or in the mouths of tributaries.  Don’t let high water conditions keep you from fishing if the weather is reasonable.

MONONGAHELA RIVER – The river flow is a little above normal and somewhat muddy.  Water temperature is about 58 degrees and increasing, which will cause fish to become more active. During high water conditions, some fish will move up against the bank and can still be caught in the slack water along the shore.  The shoreline below the Morgantown Lock on the Westover side of the river can be good for sauger and walleye.  Fishing should be good in the tailwaters as the flows decrease.  Large muskies are also caught at this time of year.

CHEAT LAKE – Water levels do not fluctuate drastically at Cheat Lake since it is not a flood control lake.  Therefore, fishing is not significantly affected by high water conditions.  Walleye and perch should be finished spawning.  Shoreline anglers can catch channel catfish all year long.  The Cheat Lake Park is a convenient place for shoreline anglers.  Recent high discharges will have caused more fish to move up to the dam from the Monongahela River.  Try the tailwater fishing pier for walleye, sauger and many other species.

TROUT STOCKING:  Trout fishing this time of year provides many angling opportunities in streams and small impoundments.  Several trout stockings have taken place across northern West Virginia.  To get daily updates of stocking events, visit www.wvdnr.gov or call the fishing hotline at (304) 558-3399.

EASTERN PANHANDLE

South Branch and Cacapon Rivers – Water levels throughout the area are above normal flow for this time of year.  Water temperatures are in the upper 50’s at many locations.  Streams should be in great fishing condition by the weekend at most locations.  Anglers are catching smallmouth bass and the bass fishing will keep getting better as fish feed in preparation for spawning.  Recent biological surveys showed smallmouth bass feeding on a wild variety of prey items.  The spring trout stocking season is underway and many streams are receiving weekly trout stockings.  The daily trout stocking report can be found at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm

Shenandoah River - Flows in the Shenandoah River are high and the water is turbid.  Smallmouth bass are biting and fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in eddies is always a good strategy.

North Branch River - Flows in the North Branch are currently over 2000cfs and water level will remain high for several more days.  The next white whitewater event on the North Branch is scheduled for this weekend April 25 and 26.  Check the Corp or Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes.  Flows in the North Branch can be monitored by watching the USGS stream gages http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html or by calling (410) 962-7687 for a three day projection of outflows.

Small Impoundments Most small impoundments are in great fishing condition and some are receiving spring trout stockings.  Bass and bluegill will start biting as the water temperatures continue to increase.  Check the 2015 fishing regulations to see if your favorite impoundment is on the trout stocking schedule.

Jennings Randolph Lake - Some anglers are starting to catch smallmouth bass at Jennings Randolph Lake.  Smallmouth bass feeding will continue to increase so try on slow moving plastics and crankbaits.  The West Virginia boat launch opened for the season on Wednesday April 1.  The WV launch is free and a $5 per day fee is collected for the Maryland Ramp.  Recreational information can also be found at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/DamsRecreation/JenningsRandolphLake.aspx

Mt. Storm Lake - Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass, and walleye.   Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.

CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Water levels are high and muddy.  If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish.  Trout stocking continues into April.  Make sure you purchase your 2015 WV fishing license.  For statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information check the DNR webpage www.wvdnr.gov.

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

Trout stockings are in full gear now so anglers are encouraged to get their fill of trout fishing before the waters become too warm.  Anglers should check the fishing regulations to see which waters will be stocked.  For a more up-to-date list, please call the hotline at 558-3399 or check online at www.wvdnr.gov.  The New and Greenbrier rivers are high and muddy and unfishable at present.  Some of our lakes remain clear year round and lake anglers can find some excellent bass and bluegill fishing at Plum Orchard Lake.  Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom; spinnerbaits are also good choices for the bass while the bluegill will take small jigs, red worms, or other small live baits.

SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers – Hybrid are biting below locks with walleye still being caught as well.  Catfish are biting with reports of a few large flatheads and blue catfish caught recently.  Live and or cut bait seems to be the best choice.

Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers - A few reports of very large muskies caught and released from the Elk and Coal rivers using slow moving baits and soft plastics (large tubes). 

Small Impoundments – Trout stocking season is underway across the state, check for links on the WVDNR webpage or call 304-558-3399 for current reports.  Barboursville and Ridenour lakes were recently stocked.

Reservoirs – Check the USACOE website (http://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/) and the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for reservoir and tailrace conditions. 

Rivers and Streams Check the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for river/stream conditions and check local landings visually before wasting a trip.

WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Trout have been stocked into several lakes throughout the area.  These include Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County, Mountwood Park Lake in Wood County, Rollins Lake and Turkey Run Lake in Jackson County, Mile Tree Lake in Roane County, Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County, and Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County.  Check the Daily Trout Stocking report for the latest at (304) 558-3399 or on the web at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm.  This information is updated daily at 4:00 pm, January through May.  Trout anglers can use a variety of baits including small worms, mealworms, salmon eggs, cheese, or trout power bait.  Small spinners, joe type flies, and trout magnets also work well, for anglers casting the shoreline or fishing from boats.  Trolling these small lures is also affective.

This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters.  Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching sauger, walleye, and a few other species.  Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice.  Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows.  Fishing for white bass can be quite good this time of year and medium-sized white spinners work well.  Crappie can also be found in Ohio River tailwaters.  These fish are generally suspended and jigs should be counted-down to find the correct depth to fish.  Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual.  Fishing along the Willow Island tailwaters is restricted due to hydro-power development.  Anglers now have access only to a point approximately 150 yards below the dam, and flows have changed significantly.

Fishing for largemouth bass in area lakes has been very good.  Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos, and spinner baits are good terminal tackle choices.  Area lakes with good angling opportunities include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler County, Charles Fork in Roane County, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork lakes in Jackson County.

Musky streams are not expected to be fishable this weekend.


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