Stonehouse Lake

Stonehouse Lake is a 41-acre impoundment located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Amherst County. This is one of three public reservoirs owned by the County and offers good fishing opportunities. The water in this reservoir is more fertile than the two neighboring lakes which contributes to lower water clarity but increased fish production.

The various facilities include picnic tables with shelters, grills, restroom, and play area. This lake has a good boat ramp for boat anglers but has limited bank fishing access. The lake is open year round but nighttime activities are prohibited except for fishing. Anglers are required to obtain a permit from the county to fish at night. Boats propelled by oar or electric motor are welcome but outboard motor use is prohibited. The reservoir was impounded in 1977 and contains largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and black crappie.

Maps & Directions

To access this reservoir, turn northeast on Rt. 610 from Rt. 60 (approximately 9 miles west of Amherst), then turn left on Rt. 625, and the lake access road will be the first road on the left.
Map

Fishing Opportunities

Largemouth Bass

Stonehouse Lake has consistently maintained one of the best bass fisheries for a small impoundment in the region. The bass population supports good numbers and sizes that is unusual for a lake of this size. The previous 12-15 inch slot limit was successful at maintaining this great fishery by protecting bass that made it to the slot limit and allowing a few bass to grow large enough to qualify for the Virginia Angler Recognition Program (minimum of 22 inches or 8 lbs.). However; as this lakes notoriety as a big bass producer and angler pressure increased, the number of citation size bass plummeted. In an effort to reduce the harvest of these exceptional fish and allow this trophy fishery to continue into the future, regulations were changed in 2013 to a 14-22 inch protective slot limit.

Largemouth bass collected during electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the bottom row is the number of fish collected per hour of electrofishing in each size group.
Size (Inches) 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
2011 12 16 12 7 3 2 2 5 12 1 0 0
2008 17 6 3 4 4 0 6 3 6 0 1 1
2005 4 10 1 1 4 0 4 3 2 3 0 0
2003 6 8 8 2 0 6 4 4 0 6 4 4

Crappie

The Crappie population has remained fairly stable for several years and this lake generally has more consistent crappie fishing than most small area lakes. However, crappie are one of the most susceptible species to cyclic population trends. Crappie routinely have good and bad years when it comes to spawning success which causes fluctuations in the crappie population. This pattern is typical in small lakes and is expected to continue but less dramatic at Stonehouse Lake than most other small regional lakes.

Current crappie numbers are good but this population does get a considerable amount of pressure and harvest. Most Crappie are harvested between 8-9 inches. A 9-inch minimum size limit was initiated in 2013 to moderately improve the size of fish harvested and reduce the impacts of variable reproduction.

Crappie collected during electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the bottom row is the number of fish collected per hour of electrofishing in each size group.
Size (Inches) 6 7 8 9 10 11
2011 5 7 21 2 5 6
2008 17 47 27 23 9 3
2005 19 9 22 6 1 1
2003 4 8 16 25 13 0

Sunfish

The sunfish population is dominated by bluegill. The bluegill population has maintained good numbers of quality-size fish. Redear sunfish are present but in low numbers so their contribution to the sunfish population is limited. However, the few redear sunfish that are available average larger sizes than the bluegill offering the largest sunfish options for this lake.

Sunfish collected during electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the bottom row is the number of fish collected per hour of electrofishing in each size group.
Size (Inches) 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2011 173 76 73 76 58 66 7
2008 257 143 86 99 34 21 5
2005 108 44 104 80 12 4 0
2003 93 57 30 15 3 3 0

Biologist Reports

Regulations

Largemouth bass: 5 fish creel limit, 14-22 inch protected slot limit, all bass caught between 14 and 22 inches must be immediately released

Crappie: 25 fish creel limit, 9 inch minimum size limit

Sunfish: 50 fish creel limit, no size limit

Facilities

The various facilities include picnic tables with shelters, grills, restroom, and play area. This lake has a good boat ramp but there is very limited bank fishing access.

To access this reservoir, turn northeast on Rt. 610 from Rt. 60 (approximately 9 miles west of Amherst), then turn left on Rt. 625, and the lake access road will be the first road on the left. Permits for night fishing are available through Amherst County at 434-946-9371.

More Information

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Regional Office
1132 Thomas Jefferson Road
Forest, VA 24551
Phone: 434 -525-7522
Night Fishing Permit
Amherst County Recreation and Parks Department
434-946-9371