Lake Burke

Burke Lake is a 218-acre Department-owned public fishing lake in Fairfax County. The lake serves as the main attraction to Burke Lake Park, a 650-acre park operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Burke Lake offers excellent fishing and features largemouth bass, muskellunge, walleye, channel catfish, bluegill and black crappie. Anglers may also catch white perch, yellow perch, redear sunfish and an occasional blue catfish.

Due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., Burke Lake is one of the most heavily fished reservoirs in Virginia. The intense fishing pressure on Burke Lake has led fisheries biologists to intensively manage the resource. The lake is fertilized annually to stimulate the aquatic food chain. The added nutrients increase the lake's productivity and overall fish production but are used within the system without adding to nutrient loads downstream. Fish attractors have been placed around the lake to offer additional habitat. The lake is stocked annually with walleye, muskellunge and channel catfish. Burke Lake is sampled on a regular basis through electrofishing and trap netting so biologists can get an accurate picture on the state of the fishery. Since District rankings have been conducted (10 years), Burke has been one of the top NOVA District waters for catch rate of large bass.

All lake users are reminded that Burke Lake is a State-owned Public Fishing Lake and not a county park. Access at the DGIF road off Route 123 on the south (dam) end is exclusively for angler use. All other uses constitute trespass and will be prosecuted. Kayaks, unless used for fishing, are prohibited in Burke Lake from either access.

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 »