Shields Lake

Shields Lake is located in Byrd Park, which is owned and operated by The City of Richmond. Byrd Park is located on Boulevard Avenue in downtown Richmond. This beautiful 7-acre lake is one of the main attractions at this park. The entire shoreline is accessible to anglers. There are picnic and handicap facilities available year-round.

The Park contains two other nearby lakes, Fountain (Boat) Lake and Swan Lake. Channel catfish are stocked annually, and the lake also contains reproducing populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, yellow perch, and brown bullheads. Catchable-size trout are stocked in the lake from November through March. Anglers that fish Shields Lake must possess a trout license in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is not required from May 1 through October 31 or for juveniles under age 16.

Maps & Directions

Shields Lake is located in Byrd Park, which is owned and operated by The City of Richmond. Byrd Park is located on Boulevard Avenue in downtown Richmond.

Map to Shields Lake:

Map

Fishing Opportunities

Shields Lake is a 7-acre impoundment located in Byrd Park (the City of Richmond’s largest park) in the heart of Richmond. Shields Lake is the last lake in the Park’s series of three. The entire shoreline of the lake is accessible to anglers. The hillside provides a great shady spot to fish under the cover of the pine trees.

Aside from the channel catfish and trout that have been stocked in this lake as part of the Department’s Urban Fishing Program, this lake has had a relatively poor fish population typical of most urban lakes. The largemouth bass population was typically low and bluegill were overabundant and stunted. A few other species inhabit the lake, but they’re typically not important to the fishery due to either low abundance or small size. To fish Shields Lake, anglers must possess a trout license in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is not required from May 1 through October 31 or for juveniles under age 16.

The electrofishing survey conducted on October 12, 2016 revealed the presence of 7 fish species. The survey experienced extreme difficulties due to the excessive amount of hydrilla that was present. The stocked grass carp from the previous years had not matured to the point where they were able to control the hydrilla density. Species collected in order of overall abundance were: bluegill, largemouth bass, channel catfish, yellow perch, redear sunfish, grass carp, and koi. A high proportion of the bass sample was comprised of fish less than 10 inches in length. A supplemental stocking of bass in the 8 to 12 inch range was conducted on April 6th, 2016. These fish were marked with blue colored Floy tags to allow for future identification to track growth rates and overall survival rate. There is no reward associated with these tags. Angler assistance with the reporting of any tagged bass caught is greatly appreciated. Anglers can call the Region 1 office at (804) 829-6580 ext. 126 to report any tagged bass. The average size bluegill collected during the survey was roughly 3.5 inches. Collected redear sunfish showed a greater size potential than the bluegill.

Biologist Reports

Regulations

A trout license is required in addition to a fishing license between November 1 and April 30. A trout license is NOT required from May 1 through October 31. Juveniles under age 16 need no licenses.

  • Trout: Four per day per angler
  • Catfish: Four (any size) per day per angler.
  • Regulations for all other species are as follows:
  • Largemouth bass: 18 inch minimum, 1 per day
  • Bream (sunfish species): No minimum size, 50 fish per person per day
  • Crappie: No minimum size, 25 per day.
  • Bowfin: 30 inch minimum, 1 per day
  • Catch and Release on all grass carp

Facilities

There are picnic and handicap facilities available year-round in other places within Byrd Park.

More Information

For fisheries information, please contact:

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Phone: (804) 829-6580 ext. 126

For additional information about Shield’s Lake and Byrd Park, please contact:

Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities
900 E. Broad Street, Room 407
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 646-5733