Special stocking brings more trout, stocking locations and chances to strike gold.

West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout has lured anglers to the Mountain State with hopes of finding gold in these hills. During the week of April 1-6, 2019, the chance of reeling in this prized trout will be even better when the West Virginia Gold Rush returns to dozens of lakes and streams across the state.

The Gold Rush is a week of special stockings where the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will release 40,000 golden rainbow trout at more than 55 lakes and streams.

“The first West Virginia Gold Rush in 2018 exceeded expectations and brought hundreds of anglers to our lakes and streams,” said WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “You can’t catch the West Virginia golden rainbow trout anywhere else, so this is really something special for anglers and their families. You don’t want to miss it.”

Go for gold

Unlike regular trout stockings in West Virginia, which include a mixture of golden rainbow and regular rainbow trout, Gold Rush stockings include only golden rainbow trout. And new to this year’s event is a big release on the final day of the event, Saturday, April 6.

“People loved the Gold Rush last year, but we wanted to give families even more opportunities to participate this year by announcing which lakes and streams will be stocked on April 6,” said Jim Hedrick, WVDNR hatchery program manager. “This will help families plan a trip and make overnight reservations if they need a place to stay.”

Several lakes and streams receiving the weekend stockings are in or near West Virginia State Parks. The full list of stockings is highlighted at wvgoldrush.com.

“The purpose of West Virginia Gold Rush is to get people, especially children and new anglers, excited about trout fishing,” Hedrick said. “State parks are a great place to catch this popular fish and enjoy special Gold Rush activities. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

WVDNR will also release a few golden rainbow trout with a yellow tag that can be redeemed for an exclusive West Virginia Gold Rush T-shirt. If you catch one of these fish, instructions for getting the free shirt are available on the Gold Rush website.

Your golden ticket to the fishing event of the year

A West Virginia fishing license with a current trout stamp is your ticket to catching a golden rainbow trout. Licenses and stamps are good for the calendar year and available online at wvfish.com. You’ll also need a valid form of identification. All anglers 15 and older are required to have a license, but kids younger than 15, regardless of residency, don’t need one.

The West Virginia Gold Rush is unlike any other fishing experience! Don’t forget to share your fishing adventures with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtags #wvgoldrush and #wvfish.