Lake Brittle is a 77-acre impoundment located in Fauquier County. It was constructed in 1953 as a public fishing lake. It is one of the oldest Department-owned lakes and among the first to be built in Virginia with Dingell-Johnson funds. Dingell-Johnson funds are provided by a federal excise tax on fishing tackle. Lake Brittle is located just east of Warrenton and only thirty miles from the Beltway. The lake's average depth is about seven feet, and it has a maximum depth of 25 feet near the spillway tower.
Lake Brittle supports a warmwater fish community including Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Black Crappie and Channel Catfish. The lake has been stocked annually with Walleye since 1979. Flathead Catfish were stocked in 1990 and 1994 to control the abundant sunfish population and undesirable species such as Brown Bullhead and Gizzard Shad which managed to proliferate to produce large populations. Northern Snakehead were first documented in 2015 and are apparently now self-sustaining due to illegal stocking. Biologists will monitor potential changes to the lake's ecology with annual surveys to evaluate impacts to other fish populations. Anglers are encouraged to harvest any and all snakeheads caught (no length or bag limits), as they are excellent table fare.
The management objective of Lake Brittle is to maintain pan fish and bass population size structures and average weights. The "balance" of the fishery is based on the predation of sunfish and gizzard shad by catfish, largemouth bass and walleye. It may be necessary to maintain high predator numbers to sufficiently control overpopulations of stunted, slow growing prey species. Following a multi-year drawdown to repair erosion to the dam and emergency spillway, the bass population was in excellent condition in 2015 based on spring electrofishing surveys.
Lake Brittle is located just to the southeast of New Baltimore off of Route 29/Route 15. Signs for Lake Brittle will be seen as you reach the Route 600 intersection. Take Route 600 east to Route 793. Route 793 will take you to the lake.
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 »