The Appomattox River, a major tributary to the James River, flows out of Appomattox County toward Petersburg and Hopewell, and along it’s course forms the boundaries between such counties as Buckingham, Prince Edward, Cumberland, Amelia, Powhatan, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Prince George. Lake Chesdin, just west of Petersburg, is a major man-made impoundment on the river.
In addition to largemouth and smallmouth bass, the Appomattox is home to the Kentucky spotted bass. These fish were introduced into the Appomattox in the mid-1970s and they have moved throughout the river and into its major tributaries, such as Briery Creek, Bush River, and Buffalo Creek. Anglers are most likely to catch spotted bass from just upstream of Farmville down to the Amelia/Chesterfield county line at Route 360 west of Richmond.
The river also contains a wide range of species, including redbreast sunfish, bluegill, flier, crappie, pickerel, and hard-fighting minnows, like fallfish and chubs. Striped bass and walleye, which run out of Lake Chesdin, provide a seasonal fishery in the Appomattox. Access is mostly limited to bridge crossings. Numerous fallen trees cross the stream so anglers who don’t mind pulling a canoe or johnboat across these trees can enjoy a quiet day on this river. Due to the remote nature of the river, only experienced boaters should try its waters.
Access to Harvell Dam
The gate to the parking lot at Harvell Dam, at the end of Johnson Alley, in the City of Petersburg, will be locked for the period approximating July 1 through August 31, 2014. Access will be restricted to authorized personnel only. A large portion of Harvell Dam will be removed to restore fish passage for migratory fish such as American shad and blueback herring as well as resident fish species.