Gold Rush 2023

The West Virginia Gold Rush returns March 28 – April 8, 2023. For the sixth year in a row, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is planning statewide stockings of the Mountain State’s very own golden rainbow trout. This fish is prized by anglers for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. Every spring, we take to our lakes and streams and stock over 50,000 golden trout to give anglers from across the country a chance to reel in this prized catch.


Your fishing getaway in Almost Heaven is a click away. Explore the map below to find a stocking location near you. Or view the full list of stocking locations here.

  • WV State Parks & Forests Stocking Locations
  • Other WV Stocking Locations


West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout is prized by anglers young and old for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. These fish were selectively and successfully bred by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists over several years and introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration. Decades later, the West Virginia golden rainbow trout has been a popular sport fish, reeling in anglers from all over the country.


A valid fishing license with a current trout stamp is your ticket to catching West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout. All anglers 15 years and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license and a valid form of identification while fishing. Licenses are valid through the entire calendar year. Whether you’re looking to come for the day or stay for a week, there’s a West Virginia fishing license for you.

Licenses can be purchased at 160 retail locations across the state or online.

The 2023 Gold Rush Giveaway

50,000 golden trout | 100 lucky winners

We’re making every cast count. Of the 50,000 golden trout stocked for Gold Rush, 100 fish will have specially marked, numbered tags. If you are a lucky angler who reels in a catch with a numbered tag, you can enter to win one of four prizes. This year five lucky winners will win the grand prize of a free West Virginia Lifetime Fishing License. Other prizes up for grabs include one-night cabin stays at a West Virginia state park or forest, West Virginia State Parks gift cards and exclusive Gold Rush merch.

1. WV Lifetime Fishing license

A West Virginia lifetime fishing license for five lucky winners.


One-night cabin stay at one West Virginia state park or forest.


$25 gift card to West Virginia state parks


Exclusive Gold Rush merchandise (t-shirt, sticker, patches)

How to Enter

Icon of a tag

Step 1

Enter and verify your tag number.

Icon of a sheet form

Step 2

Complete the
submission form.

Icon of a sheet clock

Step 3

Wait for the call! Prizes will be announced at the end of the Gold Rush.

Cast a Line and End Up in Almost Heaven

Here, what matters most are the moments you hold onto. Simple and pure. Those moments where you become one with the call of churning streams and relax in the sound of calm waters – all while waiting for the perfect catch. Escape the hustle and bustle and plan your outdoor outing to West Virginia.