The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources recently surveyed Gandy Creek to assess trout numbers in one of the state’s most popular fishing streams and biologists for the agency say their findings show there are still plenty of trout to catch in between stockings.
“Gandy Creek might be a small stream, but it’s one of the most heavily fished in the state and we believe our findings here will help reassure anglers that they can catch a fish even if they don’t get there on a stocking day,” said Jim Hedrick, hatchery program manager for the WVDNR.
Gandy Creek, located along County Route 29 in Randolph County, gets stocked with trout once a week between March and May. For the survey, WVDNR fisheries biologists visited the stream a week after a stocking.
“We didn’t have to go far to catch a bunch of fish,” Hedrick said, adding that his team caught 50 fish in segments along the road.
“Many of our stocked streams, like Gandy Creek, are easy for anglers to access, they just need to get out near the water, spend some time near a pool and make a real effort to catch a fish.”
Hedrick said there are misconceptions that stocked streams are fished out in between stockings and that anglers should be more patient and try different baits if they can’t get anything to bite.
“It can be frustrating to some anglers, but one of the best things about trout fishing is that you sometimes have to slow down and wait,” Hedrick said. “If you’re determined, there’s no reason you won’t be able to catch a fish. Just keep trying.”
While spring trout stockings have concluded, there are still summer fishing opportunities around West Virginia. Free Fishing Days are June 12-13, during which anglers can fish without purchasing a fishing license or trout stamp. For all other times, anglers 15 and older must have a valid fishing license to fish in West Virginia. Fishing licenses may be purchased online at WVfish.com.