Douthat Lake

Douthat Lake is located within Douthat State Park. This 50-acre lake is a fee-fishing lake that is stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout twice a week during the fee season (from the first Saturday in April through June 15, and from September 15* through October 31). Daily fees are waived when trout stocking is suspended during the summer. In 1995, the daily creel limit for trout was increased from five to six fish. Recent changes in the fee-fishing program have made the area more attractive to families with small children. Douthat Lake was drawn down in 1998 and the upper end was dredged. Two family fishing piers were constructed during drawndown. Fish attractors were installed near the piers in 1999.

A three-mile reach of Wilson Creek was opened to fee fishing in 1993. A special trout fishing area for children has also been established on a section of Wilson Creek just below the dam. In addition to trout, the lake also has very good largemouth bass fishing, and fair sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish opportunities; it has become an excellent chain pickerel lake, with October being the top month (see Regulations for license requirements, closure dates and limits).

The park offers year-round cabins, campgrounds, swimming, hiking trails, picnicking, a restaurant, boat rentals, water bikes, and a gravel launch ramp. A daily fee-fishing permit is available.

Maps & Directions

From I-64, take exit 27 near Clifton Forge. Turn North onto State Route 629 (highway at exit ramp). Travel north three miles to the park entrance sign and another two miles to the park office.

Map to Douthat Lake Fee Fishing Area:

Map

Fishing Opportunities

Douthat Lake is located within Douthat State Park. This 50-acre lake is a fee-fishing lake that is stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout twice a week during the fee season (from the first Saturday in April through June 15, and from September 15 through October 31). Daily fees are waived when trout stocking is suspended during the summer. In 1995, the daily creel limit for trout was increased from five to six fish. Recent changes in the fee-fishing program have made the area more attractive to families with small children. Douthat Lake was drawn down in 1998 and the upper end was dredged. Two family fishing piers were constructed during drawndown. Fish attractors were installed near the piers in 1999.

A three-mile reach of Wilson Creek was opened to fee fishing in 1993. A special trout fishing area for children has also been established on a section of Wilson Creek just below the dam. In addition to trout, the lake also has very good largemouth bass fishing, and fair sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish opportunities; it has become an excellent chain pickerel lake, with October being the top month (see Regulations for license requirements, closure dates and limits).

The park offers year-round cabins, campgrounds, swimming, hiking trails, picnicking, a restaurant, boat rentals, water bikes, and a gravel launch ramp. A daily fee-fishing permit is available.

Biologist Reports

Regulations

  • Boats are allowed, but no gasoline powered motors can be used.
  • Area is closed to fishing 4 days prior to the 1st Satudray in April

Trout

6 fish per day
7 inch minimum size limit

Sunfish

50 fish per day
No minimum size limit

Channel catfish

5 fish per day
20 inch minimum size limit

Largemouth bass

5 fish per day
12 inch minimum size limit

Black crappie

25 fish per day
No minimum size limit

Chain pickerel

5 fish per day
No minimum size limit

License Requirements

  • 1st Sat in April – State fishing license and daily fishing permit – 9am-8pm
  • April – June 15 – State fishing license and daily fishing permit – 6am – 8pm
  • June 16 – Sept. 14 – State fishing license only – 6am – 10pm
  • Sept. 15 – Oct. 31 – State fishing license and daily fishing permit – 6am – 7pm
  • Nov 1 to 5 days prior to 1st Sat in April – State fishing license and state trout license.

Facilities

Thirty cabins, 2 lodges, and several tent spots are available. Three picnic areas can be reserved. A resturarant and grocery are open seasonally. Forty miles of hiking trails are open and swimming is allowed in the lake in a designated area. Two handicap access piers are available at the lake.

News

An array of fishing opportunities exist at Douthat Lake. Trout are king in this lake, but other species provide hours of family recreation. In order to enhance the warmwater fishery, brush structures were placed near the handicap access piers in 1999. These brush structures attract sunfish and bass, providing good in-shore habitat near the piers. State record chain prickerel and largemouth bass up to 10 pounds have been caught from the clear waters of Douthat Lake. In 2003, 500 adult channel catfish were release to further augment a diverse and growing fishery.

More Information

Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
Fisheries Biologist
P. O. Box 996
Verona, VA 24482
Phone: 540-248-9360

Department of Conservation & Recreation
Douthat State Park
Rt. 1, Box 212
Millboro, VA 24460
Phone: 540-862-8100