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Anglers Alert

Anglers are reminded that West Virginia law prohibits the release of fish or other aquatic organisms into public waters, unless a stocking permit is issued by the Director of the Division of Natural Resources. Stocking permits are not required for trout and black bass stocking provided that disease-free certifications are obtained prior to stocking, or if trout originate from a source within the state. A permit is not required for stocking native or established fish into privately owned ponds.

Moving live fish or other aquatic animals and plants from one body of water to another can cause long-term damage to the ecological stability of lakes and streams and can threaten recreational fishing. Please take these precautions to prevent problems.


  • do not move fish from one body of water to another
  • drain live wells thoroughly before leaving an access area
  • do not release live baitfish or aquarium fish into West Virginia’s waters
  • remove all visible plants and animals from your boat, motor, trailer and nets before leaving an access area

For more information on aquatic nuisance species please visit Protect Your Waters.

By following these simple steps, anglers can help ensure West Virginia’s good fishing for future generations.

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