Briery Creek Lake

Notice (Updated 8/10/15): Fisheries biologists are lowering the level of Briery Creek Lake between 1.5 and 3 feet. The purpose of the drawdown is to expose the shoreline immediately around the lake at normal pool levels in an attempt to stimulate vegetation growth. Water levels will then be raised in late winter in an attempt to boost fish production in the newly flooded vegetation. Water levels will return to full pool by March 1, 2016 for the spawning and fishing season. This will not inhibit boat launching.

During the drawdown, people should use extreme caution when launching and loading boats. Additionally, boaters should use caution as more standing timber has been exposed and even more trees are just below the surface.

For additional information, contact fisheries biologist Dan Goetz at the Farmville office (434) 392-4369.

Briery Creek Lake is an 845-acre lake that is owned by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is within the Briery Creek Wildlife Management Area in Prince Edward County. The dam was completed in 1986 and the lake was open to fishing in 1989. In 1986 and 1987 the lake was stocked with Florida strain largemouth bass, northern strain largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (also known as shellcrackers), channel catfish, and crappie. Timber in the floodplain was left standing or felled and drumchopped resulting in an abundance of fish habitat. Biologists hoped that the presence of Florida-strain bass and the complex habitat would produce a high quality largemouth bass fishery.

Initially, the largemouth bass regulation was an 18-inch minimum length and two fish per day creel limit. Early production of largemouth bass was excellent and in 1991, this regulation was changed to a 12-15 inch protected slot limit (5 per day) to allow anglers to harvest the abundant smaller bass. Briery Creek Lake quickly began producing trophy largemouth bass and recognized as one of the state's premier bass fisheries. To help protect this fishery, the regulation was changed to a 14-24 inch protected slot limit on January 1, 2001. This regulation was modified again with a changing fishery by adjusting the slot limit to a 16-24 protected slot limit on January 1, 2013. The daily bag limit is still five bass per day, but only one may be longer than 24 inches.

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 »