With autumn’s arrival comes cooler temperatures and stunning scenery — perfect conditions for a fishing trip. If that’s not tempting enough, you can take advantage of freshly stocked waters. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is stocking trout in 40 streams and lakes around the state through Oct. 31.

So, grab your rod and reel or flyrod and make the most of a beautiful day or two of fishing. But first, it’s important that you take precautions and practice health guidelines that help prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus. Fortunately, fishing is ideal for the practice of social distancing, because who wants to share a crowded fishing hole?

Tips for a safe and enjoyable fishing experience

  • If you are using a non-state operated boat ramp, check its availability prior to traveling to the site.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel by using an access point or fishing area close to your home. The WVDNR stocks waters throughout the state, so you probably won’t have to travel far to find a great fishing hole.
  • Seek out areas that aren’t crowded and leave plenty of space between you and other anglers. Not only is this common courtesy, staying at least six feet apart also helps reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and other diseases.
  • Be courteous of stocking staff and keep a safe distance at all times. State law forbids fishing within 200 feet of the stock truck.
  • If you’re boating, don’t crowd a boat ramp and wait your turn to put your boat in the water. Don’t share a boat with people who aren’t in your family and make sure there’s plenty of room on board.
  • If you plan on staying at a lodge or visiting a restaurant, keep in mind that face coverings are required indoors where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Lastly, please help keep our recreation areas nice and clean for others. If a receptacle isn’t available, pack your trash out in a container or bag. Leave no trace during your visit. It’s that simple. Let’s make this a great fishing season for everyone.

Find your fishing spot

This fall, the WVDNR is stocking additional lakes and streams so you have more opportunities to enjoy a fishing trip with your family. This includes announced stockings at Cacapon Lake, Coopers Rock Lake, Seneca Lake and Watoga Lake on Oct. 24 and

new stockings at Pendleton Lake at Blackwater Falls State Park and Pipestem Lake at Pipestem Resort State Park.

Click here to see a complete list of fall trout stocking locations.

Buy your fishing license and trout stamp today

While fishing for trout, all anglers 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license, trout stamp and valid form of identification. To learn more about West Virginia’s fishing regulations, visit www.wvdnr.gov. To purchase a fishing license and trout stamps, visit www.wvfish.com.