Virginia.gov

Trout Fishing Guide

Rainbow Trout

Virginia contains over 2,900 miles of trout streams, in addition to numerous ponds, small lakes and reservoirs. The total includes over 2,300 miles of wild trout streams and about 600 miles of water inhabited with stocked trout. Virginia's diversified trout habitat offers a wide range of trout fishing opportunities.

Trout Management in Virginia

Trout management in Virginia consists of three basic programs.

  • The Catchable Trout Stocking Program is the best known and most popular. "Designated Stocked Trout Waters" are stocked from October through May with catchable-sized trout. See the Trout Stocking Plan for the streams and lakes stocked and their stocking schedule.
  • The Wild Trout Program includes the management of reproducing populations of brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Efforts are directed primarily at habitat preservation and proper regulation for protection of spawning stocks.
  • The Fingerling Trout Stocking Program involves stocking sublegal trout into waters that have cold summer water temperatures and a good food source. This is the smallest of the three programs, but includes many of our high quality, special regulation trout fishing waters.