Virginia.gov

Warmwater Fish Production & Stocking

Fish stocking is a management tool used to:

  1. establish sportfish in new, reclaimed, or renovated waters open to public fishing;
  2. supplement natural stocks where reproduction is inadequate;
  3. introduce new species as predators and/or to provide a trophy fishery;
  4. and provide immediate fishing by introducing catchable size fish.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries operates four Warmwater hatcheries (King & Queen, Front Royal, Buller, and Vic Thomas), rearing and stocking a wide variety of species including Largemouth Bass, smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Walleye, Musky, Northern Pike, Channel Catfish, Striped Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, and American Shad.

Some of the major sport fisheries in Virginia today would not exist without annual stockings from hatcheries. Many others were started by hatchery fish and sustained by natural reproduction

2014 Production and Stocking Information

Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Sunfish

King & Queen and Vic Thomas Hatcheries produced and stocked a total of 369,666 Redear Sunfish. The hatchery also produced and stocked 266,994 Black Crappie, and 296,219 Bluegill. In addition, 135,000 F1 hybrid largemouth bass were purchased from the private sector and stocked into Back Bay in an effort to restore the bass population in the 25,000-acre water. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

Walleye and Saugeye

Walleye fingerlings were produced at Buller, Front Royal, King & Queen, and Vic Thomas hatcheries in 2014. Overall production of 1,065,982 walleye fingerlings were stocked in 15 waters. Management of this resource and stocking priorities for walleye fingerling is overseen by a committee of regional and district biologists.

The hatcheries also received Saugeye (cross between Walleye and Sauger) eggs from Colorado. Seven lakes across the state were stocked with over 457,191 fingerlings total. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

Muskellunge

Approximately 2,900 fingerlings were obtained from North Carolina and stocked in ponds at Buller Hatchery for grow out to advanced-sized fingerlings. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

Northern Pike

Nearly 2,500 Northern Pike were acquired from New Jersey and stocked into Virginia waters. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

Channel Catfish

King and Queen Fish Hatchery produced and stocked 31,363 Channel Catfish in 2014. In addition, 8,175 Channel Catfish were purchased from the private sector and stocked into 6 Urban Lakes in Eastern Virginia. Public utilization and angler successes continue to be evaluated to determine how the Urban Program can be improved or modified to increase recreational fishing opportunities in or near more populated areas. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Tables: Non-Urban Program Locations, Urban Program Locations (PDF).

Striped Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, and White Bass

Both Chesapeake Bay (marine) and Roanoke River Strain fingerlings were stocked into public waters in 2014. King & Queen Hatchery produced and stocked nearly 280,000 Chesapeake Striped Bass in 8 lakes. Roanoke River strain stripers were produced at King and Queen and Vic Thomas hatcheries. Nearly 560,000 fingerlings were stocked in Kerr, Leesville, and Smith Mt. Lake. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

Hybrid striped bass were purchased from the private sector for stocking at 6 lakes. For more details regarding stocking locations, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

Approximately 280 white Bass brood were obtained from Tennessee and stocked into South Holston Lake. For more details, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).

American Shad

American shad egg taking efforts in the spring of 2014 marked the 20th season for such operations on the Pamunkey River and the 21st season overall since American shad restoration efforts began in 1992; 2014 was the fifth year that egg operations on the Pamunkey were contracted to a private consulting firm. Strip-spawned eggs were sent to the Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery (HLNFH). HLNFH stocked a total of 3,298,726 OTC tagged shad fry in the upper mainstem of the James River in 2014.

American shad egg taking operations were also conducted in 2014 on the Potomac River, in the vicinity of Fort Belvoir, for the Rappahannock River Shad Restoration effort. Eggs collected from the Potomac were also taken to HLNFH. The majority of fry production was stocked into the upper mainstem of the Rappahannock River (4,314,300) and Potomac River (349,513). For more details, please visit our Stocking Table.

Triploid Grass Carp

Approximately 1,200 Triploid Grass Carp were purchased from the private sector and stocked in 8 lakes. For more details, please visit our Stocking Table (PDF).