Premier Angler is a freshwater fishing resource and brand written, edited, curated, and crafted by fishing enthusiasts for fishing enthusiasts. We also participate in the Bass Pro Shops Affiliate program. Some links on this page may direct you to the Bass Pro Shops website. If you make a purchase through one of those links, we may receive a small commission.
A popular trout stocking event in the Mountain State is being postponed as a result of COVID-19 precautions.
West Virginia’s trout stocking “Gold Rush” — a week-long initiative that was to see roughly 50,000 golden rainbow trout relocated across more than a dozen fisheries — was one of early Spring’s most highly anticipated events for anglers in the state.
As the entire country is practicing social distancing and statewide shut-downs have occurred, however, the decision has been made by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to postpone the event. This decision comes on the heels of Governor Jim Justice’s executive order to suspend all non-essential business in the state for the time being.
While the Gold Rush is suspended, however, regular trout stocking will resume as planned. DNR Law Enforcement officials will be accompanying hatchery staff on stocking dates. The state will also stop advertising upcoming stockings.
Below is the statement sent to anglers throughout the state on Wednesday, March 24th.
Official Statement from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
|Important Stocking Update|
|In an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the number of anglers gathering at public lakes, we are postponing the West Virginia Gold Rush and will stop announcing locations for daily trout stockings. |
This means we will no longer update our trout stocking hotline or the online stocking report. Gold Rush stockings will not start on March 27 as originally scheduled. However, regular trout stockings will continue in frequency, as set forth in the 2020 Fishing Regulations.
To make sure no crowds interfere with trout stocking personnel and that anglers maintain a safe distance from hatchery staff, a DNR Law Enforcement officer will join each stocking run. We are taking these precautions to protect you, keep our hatchery staff safe and to help West Virginians meet the requirements of Gov. Jim Justice’s executive orders.
For more information about COVID-19 and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource’s guidelines for preventing its spread, visit www.dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19.