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Lake Moomaw - News & Reports

Fish habitat enhancement

Improving sport fish habitat in Lake Moomaw is a two-prong approach. First, coldwater habitat for trout is critical during late summer/early fall. Regulations require that certain downstream water levels and temperatures must be met. Lake Moomaw has 9 portals, distributed vertically along the outlet tower, that enables the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to meet downstream water quality requirements. Until 1993, the Corps released water nearest the 600F. portal or near the surface. The result was diminished trout habitat (600F. maximum, 5 parts per millions dissolved oxygen). Water from the lake is now mixed before being released below into the Jackson River. Warm, oxygenated water from the surface is blended with cold, anoxic water from deep in the lake, and the result is a more stable band of trout habitat around 30 feet under the surface during late summer. When trout are stressed, then tend to eat less and eventually lose weight. As long as water quality requirements are met, the mixed release method seems to benefit trout in the lake the best.

The other method of fish habitat improvement in Lake Moomaw is adding shallow water structure for species such as black bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish. During late summer, when the lake is often drawn down 10 feet or more, anglers can easily spot most of this fish cover. The Department and the U. S. Forest Service have cooperated with local bass clubs, the Izaak Walton League of America, the Boy Scouts, and other citizen volunteers over the years to enhance littoral (shoreline) fish habitat. They types of habitat that have been installed over the years have been quite varied, but both agencies now focus on placing natural materials (brush, trees, logs, and rock) into Lake Moomaw. Also, buttonbush has been planted on some of the barren flats to mixed success. In 2001, around 250 white pine Christmas trees were sunk in the upper lake to attract bass and crappie. Future plans are to continue with brush attractors, as well as hinge trees that are cut and felled from the bank.

Fish stocking

The only fish family that is stocked annually in the lake is trout. Approximately 35,000 McConaughy and 35,000 brown trout finglerlings are stocked each year. Fingerlings switch to natural food quickly and reach quality size in a couple of years.

Neither a trout license nor National Forest Stamp is required.

Boat Motors


Unlimited horsepower: there are no boat motor restrictions for Lake Moomaw.