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Agreement to reinstate trout stockings Reached

WVU to conduct trout study to ensure appropriate conservation measures are in place
CHARLESTON, WV — An agreement has been reached between the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to reinstate trout stockings to their original schedule.

“This agreement represents a victory for West Virginia’s longstanding tradition of world-class trout fishing,” Gov. Justice said. “My administration has fought to ensure that anglers across the state continue to enjoy the benefits of responsible, sustainable trout stocking practices. I’m proud of our continued commitment to both conservation and recreation, and I applaud the collaborative efforts of the WVDNR, USFWS, and West Virginia University that made this agreement possible.”

As part of the agreement, the WVDNR will reinstate stockings in four previously closed waters and restore the stocking frequency of 20 iconic streams during the month of May. Streams returning to the original stocking schedule are:Pinnacle Creek – Wyoming CountyCamp Creek – Mercer CountyLaurel Creek of Cherry – Greenbrier/Nicholas CountyNorth Fork of Cherry – Greenbrier County“We are thrilled to announce that these waters have returned to the original stocking schedule,” WVDNR Director Brett McMillion said. “Thanks to the support and collaboration of Governor Justice, West Virginia anglers can continue to enjoy our world-class trout program.”

Following the initial decision to remove these waters from the stocking schedule due to endangered species concerns, Gov. Justice and WVDNR representatives engaged with the USFWS to explore a potential compromise. As a result, the streams will resume stocking as originally outlined in the 2024–2025 Fishing Regulations. Additionally, West Virginia University will conduct a trout food habitat study to ensure appropriate conservation measures are in place to protect the Candy Darter, Guyandotte River Crayfish and Big Sandy Crayfish.

“In response to a recent request from the WVDNR to change their trout stocking program while continuing to implement conservation measures for listed species, the Service provided a means to move forward as required under the Endangered Species Act. We have also updated the West Virginia grant to support the trout stocking program,” USFWS Regional Director Wendi Weber said. “We appreciate our strong working relationship with WVDNR. We collaboratively partner to conserve listed species and provide angling opportunities to the public.” 

Anglers can find the full trout stocking schedule on pages 14–15 of the 2024 West Virginia Fishing Regulations Summary.