For anglers, waterfowl hunters and those who enjoy boating, access to West Virginia’s streams, rivers and lakes is vital to their enjoyment of the outdoors. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources maintains many public access sites, from large concrete ramps with courtesy docks to gravel bars for launching a kayak. And the WVDNR is adding and improving sites every year! Here’s what you need to know about access sites.

Learn more about public access sites with WVDNR’s online map

Discover some of the best access sites in America by using our online map at mapwv.gov/huntfish. This interactive map is the best way for you to learn more about access sites in West Virginia and fishing in public lakes and streams. Search for a specific access site or get directions to one near you. Learn more about parking and onsite amenities and what kind of fishing you can enjoy. Check it out today and start planning a trip!

Public access site requirements and prohibitions

Now that you know how to find access sites all over West Virginia, take some time to learn about regulations for using them. The following are regulations and prohibitions that apply to access sites in West Virginia.

  1. Public boating and fishing access facilities shall be used solely for the purpose of launching and retrieving watercraft or fishing from the shore. No other use of access sites is allowed.
  2. After launching, vehicles shall be parked in available parking spaces.
  3. Any law enforcement officer acting under proper authority may prohibit an individual from launching a watercraft from any public boating and fishing access sites.
  4. The following are prohibited at fishing and boating access sites:
    • Consumption of alcoholic beverages or possession of an open container of alcoholic beverages.
    • Swimming or bathing.
    • Camping.
    • Open fires.
    • Trash disposal except where trash receptacles are provided.
    • Discharge of firearms, fireworks and explosives.
    • Leaving unattended watercraft.
    • Commercial use except as authorized by the Director.
    • Parking of any vehicle or the mooring of any watercraft in such a manner as to obstruct any avenue of ingress or egress, except for the purpose of launching.

Any person violating any of these rules and regulations shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 20 of the Code of West Virginia and such other laws as may be applicable.

Enjoy incredible fishing and hunting in West Virginia

Before you cast your line or head out for a hunting trip, make sure you purchase a West Virginia hunting and fishing license and any stamps you may need. You can buy them online at wvhunt.com or wvfish.com, at a license retailer or your local WVDNR district office. 

Your fishing license dollars help us maintain and improve public access sites across the state. And without your support, we wouldn’t be able to continue building new ones. Get your license today!

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