Powhatan Lakes

After nearly four years and $2 million, the Powhatan Lakes are back. At a rededication ceremony on April 24, 2008, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) announced the completion of the work to rebuild the 66-acre lakes. A severe storm event caused overtopping of the upper dam in June 2004, and the eventual breaching of that dam and the subsequent chain-reaction breaching of the lower dam. Local news sources indicated that as much as five inches of rain may have fallen within a two-hour period.

The dams had been there for 150 years, having been constructed in the 1850s. The lakes were acquired by VDGIF in 1954. Today they are part of the Powhatan Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

In addition to the new dams, DGIF has also added some improved facilities.

  • The new construction includes two new fishing piers, one on the upper lake and one on the lower lake which expand the fishing opportunities. The piers are complete, but the handicap accessible paths and parking are still needed.
  • Two boat launch facilities have been improved. No gasoline powered motors allowed.
  • New trails and platforms for wildlife viewing and fishing are being constructed and expect to be completed by fall.
  • Southside Electrical donated the use of their equipment and installed pilings for the piers.
  • Department staff framed and decked the piers.

Access Permit Requirement

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) will require an Access Permit for visitors to department-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and public fishing lakes effective January 1, 2012, who are age 17 and older, unless they possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license, or a current Virginia boat registration. Learn more about the Access Permit »