What’s New

The following regulation changes are new for 2017. More details can be found in sections that follow this summary.

Creel and Length Limits

  • Seasonal slot limit on New River for muskellunge.
  • Creel & length limit changes for catfish, longnose gar, bowfin and American eel

Non-Native (Exotic Animals)

  • Anglers may legally harvest grass carp from public waters of the commonwealth, except from department-owned or department controlled lakes.  Harvested grass carp must be immediately killed.


  • A trout license is not required to fish designated stocked trout waters during Free Fishing Days, June 2-4, 2017.
  • There is a new Pre-Announced Trout Stocking Program for spring, 2017.
  • There is a new Youth-only Stocked Trout Program in designated waters.
  • Cook Lake, Hearthstone Lake and Jerry’s Run will not be stocked this year. Bear Creek Reservoir (Wise County) has been added as a Category B water. Big Brumley Creek changed from a Category C to a Category B water.
  • The delayed harvest section of South River is now Catch and Release only. The Reach of South River upstream of Waynesboro changed to 20-inch minimum, 1 fish per day, flyfishing only.
  • Big Moccasin Creek, Indian Creek, and Middle Fork of Powell River have been added to the Delayed Harvest program.