Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir

This 635-acre reservoir is located just outside of the Gloucester Courthouse. The reservoir and park provide a variety of opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Beaverdam Park is a popular destination for families. There are trails for hikers, bikers and horse riders. You may see deer, turkey, and bald eagles, as well as a variety of waterfowl. Many anglers in the greater Gloucester region will give the local saltwater action a break to try their luck on the variety of freshwater fish species that are present within the reservoir.

The reservoir was constructed in 1989 and reached full pool level during the winter of 1989-1990. Bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish and black crappie are the only fish to have been stocked in this reservoir. The largemouth bass population became established on its own from bass that lived in the streams and several surrounding farm ponds that were encompassed by the impoundment.

Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir contains abundant populations of largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, bluegill, and redear sunfish. The reservoir has been a popular spot for bass anglers and the park conducts several bass tournaments throughout the year. The black crappie fishery provides anglers with a lot of excitement along with the chance of catching citation-sized fish.

Maps & Directions

The main park entrance is located on Route 616 off Route 17 at Gloucester in Gloucester County. The ranger station, main boat ramp, and fishing pier can all be found at the main park area. Map

A second park entrance and boat ramp can be accessed off Route 606. The ramp at this site is specifically for annual pass holders. Map

Fishing Opportunities

The 2006 electrofishing sample showed a significant increase in the overall catch rate of largemouth bass when compared to the 2005 survey. The 2006 survey collected 214 largemouth bass for a catch rate of 107/hr. The sample consisted of numerous bass in the 11-14 inch range. A total of 24 bass larger than 15 inches in length were collected. Two very nice bass weighing 6.7 and 7.15 pounds were collected. Largemouth bass have been experiencing very successful recruitment the last few years. The 2004 and 2005 year classes were very abundant in our survey.

The black crappie population should still be providing some good fishing opportunities. The 2006 electrofishing survey, along with trap net sampling, revealed an abundant population exists. The majority of these fish were within the 9 to 11 inch range with a decent number over 12 inches long. The largest crappie collected measured 13.5 inches in length. Anglers have reported catching 6 citation black crappies each of the last two years from Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir. The majority of the black crappies were collected from the upper half of the reservoir as fish were staging in the warmer waters of the shallow flats.

The bluegill fishery is primarily dominated by smaller fish less than 6 inches in size. The trap net surveys collected an incredible total of 4,489 bluegills for a catch rate of 224 bluegills/trap net. The trap net survey also revealed good numbers of redear sunfish in the 6 to 8 inch range with the largest redear sunfish measured at an impressive 12.6 inches. The majority of the redear sunfish were collected along the shallow flats in close proximity to the mitigation areas of the western side of the reservoir.

Biologist Reports


  1. The park is open every day of the year except Christmas and New Years Day.
  2. Electric motors only.
  3. Hours of use are set by park staff.

All other regulations are as stated in the Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations Digest.


There are two boat ramps, the main one being off Route 616 and the other one off Route 606. The Route 606 ramp is for annual pass holders. Jon boats, paddleboats, canoes and other equipment can be rented from the ranger station where bait and snacks can also be purchased. There is also a fishing pier, picnic facilities, playing areas, hiking, biking and horse riding trails.


Fisheries biologists sampled the reservoir in the spring of 2006 with a total of 10 fish species collected. The 2006 electrofishing catch rate for largemouth bass was 107 bass/hr and showed a marked increase from the 2005 sample (67 bass/hr). The electrofishing sample revealed good numbers of black crappies present with the average size running around 10 inches in length. Trap net surveys were conducted on the reservoir during April 2006 to evaluate the strength of the black crappie population. A total of 237 black crappies were collected over the course of the survey with the majority of the crappies measured in the 9 to 11 inch range. Additional information on the fishery can be obtained through reading the biologists reports. Information from the 2006 surveys will be posted with the new management report when it is completed.

Anglers reported 7 citation-sized largemouth bass from Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir in 2005. The total for 2006 is presently at 9 citations for largemouth bass. The 2006 citation total for black crappies and channel catfish has equaled the totals for 2005 with 6 citation crappies and one citation channel catfish. Three sunfish citations have also been reported for 2006.

Fisheries biologist plan on conducting yearly electrofishing surveys on Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir.

In the fall of 2003, tissue samples were taken from largemouth bass, as part of a statewide investigation by the Department’s Largemouth Bass Committee into the genetics of our bass populations. The aim is to determine what percentage of the genetic make-up consists of the northern strain of bass and what percentage is of the Florida strain of bass and whether this has any bearing on the performance of a fishery. Virginia Tech analyzed the samples and the results showed that only 38% of the sample had Florida genetics. This percentage ranks toward the bottom of the list of the 23 lakes sampled.

More Information

For further information please contact:

  • The Ranger Station at 804-693-2107 or check out their Web site.

For further information please contact:

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
3801 John Tyler Hwy.
Charles City, VA 23030

Phone: (804) 829-6715.