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Visit Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery
125 Radio Road, Brookneal, Virginia 24528
- Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
- Phone: 434-376-2314
- Map & Directions
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery located at 125 Radio Road in Brookneal, VA, sits on 55 acres along the banks of the Staunton (Roanoke) River in southeastern Campbell County.
The primary focus at this facility is propagating the freshwater strain Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis); although increased emphasis has been placed on the propagation of Walleye (Sander vitreus), White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis), and Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). The fingerling fish are raised for stocking over twenty large and small reservoirs, lakes, and rivers throughout the Commonwealth for recreational fishing enhancement. The Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery is centrally located to other Commonwealth fish hatcheries making it a vital staging and distribution facility for importations of other fish species used for enhancing recreational opportunities and decreasing unwanted aquatic vegetation throughout the Commonwealth.
The Hatchery was originally constructed in late-1960 and has undergone several renovations. The Hatchery maintains a total of 19.66 acres of earthen ponds ranging in size from 0.88 to 4.64 surface acres, a state-of-art hatchery building, and supporting raceways. The primary water source for the Hatchery pond operations is filtered river water from the adjacent Staunton River, while the hatchery building operates with well water and filtered Staunton River water.
The Hatchery stocks around 750,000 Striped Bass fingerlings, 3-400,000 Walleye fingerlings, 4-500,000 Bluegill fingerlings, and 50,000 White Crappie fingerlings annually. Additionally, the Hatchery supplies other Hatcheries in the Commonwealth with Striped Bass and Walleye eggs and fry as requested. The hatchery distributes Channel Catfish for the urban fishing program as well as distributing triploid Grass Carp for vegetation control in Commonwealth waters. The hatchery has incorporated pollinator habitat plots throughout the facility grounds to enhance various pollinators (such as ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, and birds) and to provide educational outreach to the community.
Hatchery Manager Mike Gafford and Assistant Manager Gordon Judd welcome your visits and questions.
Images by: Meghan Marchetti – DGIF