Strasburg Reservoir was once a water supply impoundment for the Town of Strasburg in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, on the Massanutten Ridge near Signal Knob. Recently Strasburg has allowed VDGIF, James Madison University (JMU) Chemistry Department, and George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to experiment with fisheries management in this impoundment, which is now open to angling. Initial evaluations and water quality samples demonstrated that the lake was acidic and had an in-flowing stream (Little Passage Creek); only pumpkinseed sunfish were present. The water quality also revealed marginal potential trout habitat in the reservoir.
Since 1995, VDGIF has been evaluating the potential for trout management in our fingerling trout-stocking program. JMU and VDGIF have monitored water quality during the same time period. Fingerling brook trout were stocked in the fall 1995-2001. Gill netting has been used to evaluate trout summertime holdover and severity of acidic conditions. In 2000, a few holdover brook trout were collected, indicating that the lake has potential to possibly provide a trout fishery. In 1997 and 2000, limestone sand was applied to Little Passage Creek upstream of the Strasburg Reservoir to correct water acidity. This was successful in raising pH levels in the reservoir to levels acceptable to trout. VDGIF is currently evaluating other fisheries management options including trout and other warm water species, while still studying the fingerling trout stocking. Therefore, fingerling brook trout will be stocked annually.
Access to Strasburg Reservoir is via a 1.9-mile walk behind on a gated forest road. Take Route 678 through Fort Valley, turn onto Route 771, and follow signs to Powell's Fort Camp. The gate is just beyond the camp on the forest road, at the Mud Hole Gap parking area. Currently no trout permit is required to fish at the Strasburg Reservoir.