Chickahominy Lake

This is a 1230-acre water supply reservoir located along the New Kent-Charles City county line. This impoundment of the Chickahominy River was completed in 1943 with the construction of a low-head dam known locally as Walkers Dam. A fish ladder constructed into the dam allows for the passage of anadromous fish such as blueback herring and striped bass. The City of Newport News draws water from Chickahominy Lake and has been responsible for the recent repairs and renovations to Walkers Dam. A new, manually operated boat lock at the dam will eventually be operational to allow boat traffic to move between the lake and river.

This cypress-laden lake provides spectacular scenery, and is great for bird watching. In addition, it just happens to be one of the best all round fisheries in Virginia. The cypress trees, water lilies and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) provide excellent habitats for aquatic organisms and are undoubtedly one of the reasons for the consistently good fishing at this lake over the years.

Walkers Dam used to be one of the more popular places to catch blueback herring during their spring spawning run. Anglers are not permitted to fish from Walkers Dam any longer. The recent moratorium on blueback herring and alewives also prevents anglers from harvesting these species. Anglers will have to turn their attention to the variety of game fish species that inhabit Chickahominy Lake and the Chickahominy River.

Maps & Directions

Access to the lake is available via two private marinas/landings where boats and other equipment can also be rented. These are located on route 60 between Providence Forge and Lanexa. Map

Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait can be reached off of state route 649 (Rockahock Road).

Eagles Landing is located 3.5 miles to the east of Providence Forge and can be reached by taking route 60 to route 650.

Contact information for both businesses can be found under the More Information sidebar.

Fishing Opportunities

The largemouth bass fishing at this lake has been decent over many years. Anglers must be willing to adapt to the abundant aquatic vegetation that sprouts up each summer in the lake. The results of the 2006 electrofishing survey show that the largemouth bass population is in good shape overall. The sample showed a good proportion of bass in the 2 to 4 pound range. The presence of numerous year classes and good recruitment from the 2005 spawn will continue to maintain the bass fishery. Physical examination of the fish showed them to be in good condition and this was supported by an index of relative weight. The largest bass caught in our sample was 21 inches in length and weighed 5.7 lbs. The 2006 catch rate ranks higher than the previous sample conducted in 2003.

Chickahominy Lake has been well known for good bowfin and chain pickerel action. The 2006 electrofishing survey found an abundant population of bowfin. Many of the bowfins were in the 3 to 6 pound range with the largest one estimated at around 10 pounds. Anglers looking for bass will be pleasantly surprised by the strong fighting bowfin on the end of their line. The sample revealed a fair number of chain pickerel along the shoreline. Most of the chain pickerel action occurs earlier in the season during the February to March time frame when the water is just starting to warm up.

The electrofishing survey and the trap net sampling revealed an abundant population of bluegills present in the lake. The majority of the bluegills were less than 6 inches in length. A few larger bluegills in the 6 to 8 inch range were collected. The lake does produce some larger redear sunfish. The sampling revealed some quality-sized redear sunfish in the 8 to 9 inch range with the largest one measured at 10 inches in length.

Our trap surveys in March 2006 indicate that the black crappie population is in decent shape, with a high percentage of the sample consisting of fish in the 10 to 12 inch range. Anglers are encouraged to try their luck for black crappies in the various creek arms that lie on the northern shoreline. These shallow water areas will warm quickly during the early spring. Schools of black crappies will cruise the shorelines in search of food before the spawning season arrives.

For some time now, the reservoir also has provided a popular catch-and-release fishery for anadromous (sea run) striped bass that have passed through the fish ladder at Walker’s Dam (for additional information see the Regulations sidebar).

Biologist Reports

Regulations

Striped Bass

  • Regulations for anadromous (sea run) striped bass in the lake are the same as for striped bass in tidal waters.
  • For information on Striped Bass regulations contact the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) at 1-800-541-4646.

Herring

  • Walker’s Dam represents the fall line on the Chickahominy River. In accordance with the ASMFC moratorium, all river herring must be released unharmed if caught above or below the dam.

General Regulations

See the fishing regulations section on the web at: Fishing Regulations

  • Gasoline-powered motors are allowed (no size restriction).
  • Walkers Dam: Only rod and reel and hand lines permitted within 500 yards below dam. It is illegal to snag fish at Walkers Dam.

Facilities

See marina contacts under More Information.

News

The Department’s Angler Recognition Program issued a total of 41 trophy fish citations for this reservoir in 2005, putting it in 25th place in the list of top 25 waters in the state. It ranked third in the state for chain pickerel with 13 citations reported. Chickahominy Lake is well known for its chain pickerel and bowfin fishery. Numbers of citation-sized fish have dropped in the last few years. Only 7 chain pickerel and 2 bowfin citations have been reported for 2006. A total of 22 citations have been reported for Chickahominy Lake during 2006.

Fisheries staff conducted a spring electrofishing survey on Chickahominy Lake during April 2006. The sampling resulted in the collection of 17 species of fish with bluegills, bowfin and largemouth bass being the most abundant. Chickahominy Lake has never yielded extremely high catch rates during electrofishing surveys. A total of 83 largemouth bass were collected during the 2006 survey. The bass catch rate (41.5 bass/hr) was the highest catch rate since the 1994 sample (47.2 bass/hr). Good numbers of 2 to 4 pound bass were represented in the sample. The largest bass measured 21 inches and weighed 5.7 pounds. The sample also revealed an abundance of bowfins with a total of 95 collected. This yielded a record catch rate of 47.5 bowfins/hr. The majority of the bowfins were within the 3 to 6 pound range. The largest bowfin netted measured in at a citation length of 30 inches. Department fisheries biologists will continue to sample Chickahominy Lake on a yearly basis.

The submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) becomes particularly abundant in the summer, becoming an inconvenience in localized areas. Certain creek arms become clogged with hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation. Boaters should be cautious when trying to maneuver through these areas.

More Information

For more information about Chickahominy Lake contact:

Ed Allen’s Boats and Baits
1965 Allen Road
Lanexa, VA 23089
Phone (804) 966-5368 or Ed Allen’s Campground (804) 966-2582
Chickahominy Lake
Eagles Landing
2142 Landing Road
Providence Forge, VA 23140
Phone (804) 966-9094
Email: eagleslandinginc@aol.com

For additional information on the fishery:

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
3801 John Tyler Hwy.
Charles City, VA 23030

Phone: (804) 829-6580, Ext. 129