Fluvanna Ruritan - News & Reports
This 50-acre lake, owned and managed by the Department of Game & Inland fisheries, has provided an excellent fishery since it was constructed in 1955. In the early 1950's, the local Ruritan club expressed an interest in developing a lake in Fluvanna County and they acquired the land that later became Fluvanna Ruritan Lake, named in honor of the club for it's efforts to bring a recreational lake to the county.
Fisheries management by the Department has historically consisted of numerous techniques, including stocking, lake fertilization, and creel regulations, to improve and sustain an excellent warm water fishery for anglers. Fish populations are checked on a regular basis every three years by the Department to determine if problems exist and if changes in regulations are required.
This area of Fluvanna County does not have naturally fertile soils and this is reflected in the low fertility of the lake water. To compensate for this natural deficiency in nutrients, the Department has annually added liquid fertilizer (10-34-0) to the lake. The resulting higher fertility creates a bloom on the lake in the summer and the water looks like pea soup. The bloom increases food production for the fish ultimately resulting in several hundred pounds of fish per acre at Fluvanna Ruritan, double the poundage of fish it would have naturally.
Special regulations, such as a 12-inch minimum size limit on the harvest of largemouth bass, have helped protect a well-balanced population of bass. Sampling in the spring of 2000 collected numerous bass, one of which was over citation length (22-inches) and weight (8 pounds). Although the bass population is high, to the point of causing mild stunting, the population provides an excellent resource for anglers to enjoy. Bluegill populations are showing improvement after several years of a slight downturn and should also provide anglers with many hours of enjoyment.
Channel catfish are being stocked every other year to maintain a good, harvestable population for anglers. Walleye were stocked for many years to diversify the fishery and provide another large game fish. Walleye are maintained in most Virginia lakes by annual stocking, a costly process, and few walleye are ever caught or harvested in small lakes with low populations of walleye. Future stocking of walleye has been suspended indefinitely while the Department decides how best to manage for this fish in lakes of this size.
Future plans for the lake remain much as they have for the past 50 years. This rural lake continues to provide an excellent resource for anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Add to the recreational benefits the esthetic qualities of a mostly forested shoreline, no gasoline motors, and only the occasional additional angler competing for space, and it is a perfect spot to fish. Take Route 53 west of Palmyra and turn west on Route 619 at Cunningham and follow the directional signs to the lake. The lake is open 24 hours a day, year round.