Diascund Reservoir

This 1,110-acre water supply reservoir for the City of Newport News is situated along the New Kent and James City County line. The reservoir provides a scenic destination for anglers to try their luck on a variety of fish species. The fishery has abundant populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, chain pickerel and black crappie. Carp, bowfin, and longnose gar provide alternative quarry. Gizzard shad and blueback herring are the main forage species. The public boat ramp allows anglers to launch their boats near the center of the reservoir. The numerous creek arms and coves provide anglers a chance to explore and hopefully find their next great fishing spot.

Newport News Waterworks is in the process of conducting repairs to the dam’s spillway on Diascund Reservoir. The water level has been drawn down several feet to allow for the necessary repair work to be completed. Anglers should be cautious when operating boats on the reservoir due to the various shallow sand bars and stump fields that are present.

Maps & Directions

Diascund Reservoir is located near the town of Lanexa just off of Route 60. The boat ramp area and parking lot is located off of route 603. Map

Fishing Opportunities

This fishery continues to perform well for a number of species. DGIF fisheries biologists conducted an electrofishing survey of Diascund Reservoir on April 2, 2007. The results of the survey revealed increased catch rates for several game fish species. A total of 18 fish species were collected during the survey.

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass population appears to be in good shape (as indicated by structural indices, relative weight and physical examination). A total of 173 largemouth bass were collected for a catch rate of 86.5 bass/hr. This catch rate is the highest rate recorded for Diascund Reservoir and well surpasses the 2006 rate of 56 bass/hr. The largest bass measured was 22.6 inches in length and weighed 6.3 pounds. The majority of the bass collected were within the 11 to 19 inch range. The relative weight values of bass showed improvement when compared to the 2006 sample. The bass were all in great shape and finding plenty of available forage. The survey collected a total of 71 preferred-size bass that were 15 inches or greater in length.

Bluegill

Bluegills were abundant (especially juveniles) and ranged up to 7 inches in length. Through our sampling efforts over the years, we have found that the large impoundments of the middle and lower peninsula rarely produce bluegills much bigger than this. The presence of gizzard shad and blueback herring produce increased competition for zooplankton and the decrease in bluegill growth potential. The overall status of the bluegill population was fair. The majority of bluegills collected during the electrofishing were within the 3 to 5 inch range. The electrofishing catch rate of 591 bluegills/hr showed a major increase from the 2006 survey (145.3 bluegills/hr). Certain areas of the reservoir may hold some larger bluegills, but anglers should not expect to catch full limits of 8 inch bluegills.

Redear Sunfish

The redear sunfish population, although not as abundant as the bluegills, can offer anglers some excitement. The general status of the population structure bodes well for future angling opportunities with a decent number of redear sunfish in the 6 to 9 inch range. The 2007 electrofishing survey yielded a catch rate of 94.5 redear sunfish/hr. This catch rate showed a major increase from the 2006 survey (45.3 redear sunfish/hr). The trap net survey collected some decent redear sunfish up to 11 inches in length.

Black Crappie

Typical shoreline electrofishing conducted during April is usually not the best way to evaluate the strength of the black crappie population. Black crappies tend to school in waters deeper than largemouth bass and bluegills. The 2007 electrofishing survey collected 41 black crappies for a rate of 20.5/hr. These crappies ranged in size from 5 to 14 inches with the majority of the fish in the 8 to 12 inch range. The trap net survey produced a limited number of black crappies during the end of March. The majority of the crappies were within the 8 to 10 inch range.

Yellow Perch

Diascund Reservoir has a yellow perch population that appears to be dominated by the presence of juvenile yellow perch. The 2007 electrofishing survey collected yellow perch at a rate of 106.5/hr. This catch rate showed a major increase from the 2006 survey (38.7/hr). The majority of collected perch were in the 4 to 6 inch range. The reservoir has some potential to produce trophy-sized yellow perch. A total of 5 yellow perch citations were reported by anglers during 2007.

Chain Pickerel

The chain pickerel population showed signs of improvement with a total of 52 chain pickerel collected. The catch rate of 26/hr showed an increase from the 2006 survey (10/hr). The 2007 size distribution ranged from 6 to 23 inches in length. A large percentage of the pickerel were in the 8 to 12 inch range. A total of 20 chain pickerel were greater than 16 inches in length.

Bowfin

Anglers should not overlook the exciting fishing opportunities that exist for bowfin. Although the numbers of bowfin are not as high as nearby Chickahominy Lake, there are some large fish that inhabit the reservoir. The 2007 sample collected 34 bowfins for a catch rate of 17/hr. This is the highest recorded catch rate for Diascund Reservoir and showed an increase from the 2006 survey (9.5/hr). The 2007 survey was comprised of 19 bowfins that were 21 inches or longer in length. The largest bowfin measured in at 30.3 inches and 11.8 pounds.

Biologist Reports

Regulations

The reservoir is open to fishing one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.

Bank fishing will be permitted in designated areas immediately adjacent to the public boat ramp.

Boat anglers can only use electric trolling motors and must follow the regulations posted by the City of Newport News.

Outboard motors may be kept on the boat under the following conditions:

(a) Motor must be kept out of the water at all times.
(b) Portable fuel tanks must be removed from the boat.
(c) Built-in fuel lines must have the shut-off valve in the closed position.

Sailboards, floating platforms, personal watercrafts (such as jet skis) and non-enclosed watercraft are prohibited on the reservoir. Canoes, kayaks and small sailboats are considered to be enclosed watercraft as long as they have freeboard between the water and the occupant.

Additional regulations are posted at the boat ramp. All other fisheries related regulations are as stated in the Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations Digest. Statewide regulations apply to all fish species.

Facilities

Currently, the facilities are limited to a boat ramp, courtesy pier and parking lot.

Limited shoreline fishing is allowed within the boundary area of the boat ramp parking lot. Boat anglers can launch their boats free of charge without paying a launch fee.

News

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries staff sampled Diascund Reservoir on April 2, 2007. The electrofishing survey was one of the most successful trips ever recorded on Diascund Reservoir. The period of warm weather towards the end of March managed to stimulate many of the fish species into a pre-spawn pattern. The shoreline areas that were sampled contained a great abundance of fish. The survey revealed the presence of 18 species of fish with bluegills, largemouth bass, yellow perch and redear sunfish being the most abundant. The collection of 173 largemouth bass for a catch rate of 86.5 bass/hr was well above the 2006 rate of 56 bass/hr. The survey also revealed an increased abundance of chain pickerel, bowfins and black crappies when compared to the 2006 survey.

The 2007 trap net survey conducted on March 28th-29th revealed limited numbers of fish when compared to the 2006 trap net survey. The high water temperatures near the 70 degree mark limited the success of the trap nets. The catch rate of black crappies was only 3.9 crappies per net night. This rate is rather poor when compared to the 2006 rate of 11.4 crappies per net night. The majority of the crappies collected during the 2007 survey were in the 8 to 10 inch range.

Anglers reported 19 citations from Diascund Reservoir during 2007. The citations consisted of black crappie (9), yellow perch (5), largemouth bass (3), chain pickerel (1) and longnose gar (1).

Past news of interest

Diascund Reservoir produced a total of 16 reported fish citations during 2006. The six citation species were: black crappie (5), channel catfish (3), longnose gar (4), largemouth bass (2), blue catfish (1) and bowfin (1).

Diascund Reservoir produced a total of 22 reported fish citations during 2005. The six citation species were: largemouth bass (7), black crappie (7), chain pickerel (3), longnose gar (3), bowfin (1) and yellow perch (1).

Department fisheries biologists have conducted electrofishing surveys of the reservoir the last two years to evaluate the fishery. Spring electrofishing surveys will continue on an annual basis. The 2006 sample collected 15 fish species with largemouth bass, bluegills and redear sunfish being the most abundant. A total of 112 largemouth bass were collected for a catch rate of 56 bass/hr. Numerous year classes of largemouth bass were represented. The sample collected a high abundance of 2 to 4 pound bass. The largest bass measured 21 inches with an estimated weight of 6 pounds. Trap net sampling in the spring of 2006 was conducted to evaluate the black crappie and yellow perch populations. A total of 228 black crappies were collected with the majority of the crappies in the 8 to 11 inch range. The largest black crappie measured 13 inches and weighed 1.35 pounds. The trap net survey was very productive in collecting bluegills. A total of 3,020 bluegills were collected. The majority of the bluegills were in the 3 to 5 inch range with a decent number of bluegills in the 6 to 7.5 inch range.

More Information

For further information please contact:

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

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

Natural Resources Division
Public Utilities and Waterworks
City Of Newport News
2600 Washington Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607
Phone: (757) 926-7177