After nearly four years and $2 million, the Powhatan Lakes are back. At a rededication ceremony on April 24, 2008, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) announced the completion of the work to rebuild the 66-acre lakes. A severe storm event caused overtopping of the upper dam in June 2004, and the eventual breaching of that dam and the subsequent chain-reaction breaching of the lower dam. Local news sources indicated that as much as five inches of rain may have fallen within a two-hour period.
The dams had been there for 150 years, having been constructed in the 1850s. The lakes were acquired by VDGIF in 1954. Today they are part of the Powhatan Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
In addition to the new dams, DGIF has also added some improved facilities.
- The new construction includes two new fishing piers, one on the upper lake and one on the lower lake which expand the fishing opportunities. The piers are complete, but the handicap accessible paths and parking are still needed.
- Two boat launch facilities have been improved. No gasoline powered motors allowed.
- New trails and platforms for wildlife viewing and fishing are being constructed and expect to be completed by fall.
- Southside Electrical donated the use of their equipment and installed pilings for the piers.
- Department staff framed and decked the piers.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) will require an Access Permit for visitors to department-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and public fishing lakes, who are age 17 and older, unless they possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license, or a current Virginia boat registration. Learn more about the Access Permit.
Maps & Directions
The Powhatan Lakes are located off Route 60 near the intersection with Route 522 (just west of Powhatan Proper).
Route 60 west. About 1.5 miles after the intersection with Route 522 turn right onto Bell Road (Route 684). Go approximately 2 miles and take a left onto Powhatan Lakes Road. The lakes are at the end of Powhatan Lakes Road (the upper lake to the left and the lower to the right).
From Interstate 64:
Take the Oilville/Goochland exit and head south to Route 250. Turn right onto Route 250 West and take and immediate left onto Fairgrounds Road (Route 632). Drive 4-5 miles and turn left onto Maidens Road (Route 634). Drive to the stoplight at the end of Route 632 and go straight through the light onto Maidens Road (Route 522 South). Drive 5 to 6 miles and turn right onto Cosby Road (Route 621). Drive 3 to 4 miles and turn left onto Bell Road (Route 684). Drive 1.5 to 2 miles and turn right onto Powhatan Lakes Road. The lakes are at the end of Powhatan Lakes Road (the upper lake to the left and the lower to the right).
Largemouth Bass Special Regulation
- 14-22 inch protected slot limit
- 5 fish per day creel limit
- No Bass may be retained between 14 and 22 inches
- Only one bass longer than 22 inches may be retained
Statewide fishing regulations apply for all other fish species.
- Gas motors.
- Open air fires
- Fishing tournaments involving prizes.
- Open to fishing 1 hour before sunrise to 11 pm EST.
The construction of the new dams between 2006 and 2008 allowed for the improvement and addition of facilities at each lake.
The new construction includes two new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible fishing piers*, one on the upper lake and one on the lower lake which expand the fishing opportunities. Numerous Christmas tree habitat structures have been placed around each pier.
Two boat launch facilities have been improved with added courtesy piers*. No gasoline powered motors allowed.
New fishing and wildlife viewing trails have been constructed around the lower lake.
No bathroom facilities are located at the lakes, but there are numerous businesses located just minutes from the lakes on Route 60.
* Southside Electrical donated the use of their equipment and installed pilings for the piers.