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Sandy River Reservoir

Sandy River Reservoir is a 740-acre water supply impoundment located slightly east of the town of Farmville in Prince Edward County. Sandy River Reservoir is one of the newest lakes in Virginia with construction completed in 1994 and fishing opened in 1996. The reservoir was built and is owned by the county of Prince Edward with fisheries management responsibilities belonging to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Sandy River Reservoir is a beautiful resource located in the rolling hills of the piedmont in south-central Virginia. Two large areas of standing timber were left in the lake at construction to provide fish habitat structure. To supplement existing fish habitat in the reservoir, department personnel and the county have placed used Christmas trees and hinge shoreline trees to provide additional spots for anglers to concentrate their fishing effort.

This reservoir boasts one of the best sportfish assemblages in the piedmont. The lake supports excellent fisheries for largemouth bass, black crappie, redear sunfish, and an ever-improving channel catfish fishery. Other species to note include bluegill and chain pickerel.

You can try your luck at Sandy River Reservoir by traveling east on 460 from Farmville and turning south on Route 640. Take the first left after turning on Route 640 and follow this road straight to the boat ramp.

Maps & Directions

The lake and facilities can be reached from U.S. 460 east of Farmville: take Route 640 (Monroe Church Rd.) south for 0.8 miles and turn left on Route 792, the reservoir access road.

Fishing Opportunities

Largemouth bass

The largemouth bass fishery at Sandy River Reservoir is excellent with fish of all sizes well represented. The population has been developing for the past eight years with sizes and numbers that rival many of the best lakes in Virginia. Bass up to eight and nine pounds and over 20 inches are becoming more and more common. The future of the fishery is looking pretty bright too with numerous smaller fish coming in behind the lunkers. Sandy River bass are growing faster than almost any other waterbody in the piedmont, and this trend should continue for several years to come. The largemouth bass fishery is managed with a 14-20 inch slot to improve quality fish catch rates and still allow for some harvest. As with most fish species, the best action for largemouth bass fishing is in the spring, but good action can be found in the summer fishing mornings and evenings and in deeper water.


The black crappie population size is at a very high level with much of the fishery being supported by one year class of fish. The 1994 year class still accounts for the bulk of keeper size crappie at Sandy River. Currently, the fishery is becoming dominated by smaller fish as the large, fast-growing 1994 crappie begin to disappear due to natural and fishing mortality. Crappie populations are characterized by dramatic fluctuations in numbers based on good and bad spawns and survival. Another strong year class will come along to carry the fishery into the future. For now, anglers should expect to catch high numbers of small-sized crappie. Crappie congregate on submerged trees and other structures and can be caught on live minnows or jigs. Best fishing for crappie is in the early spring. Sandy River also provides an excellent opportunity to catch good numbers of large redear. The bluegill fishery is also good with best fishing for both bluegill and redear from late April to June.

Channel catfish

Catfish are currently being stocked annually and has really become a quality fishery. Anglers are reporting very nice fish being harvested with fish from two to five pounds becoming pretty common. Take advantage of the flexible hours at Sandy River Reservoir and try your luck fishing catfish at night with your favorite bait (chicken liver is always a good choice) or concoction.

Chain pickerel

Chain pickerel are fairly abundant in Sandy River Reservoir. Fish over 20 inches are present in the impoundment.

Biologist Reports


  • Largemouth bass – 14–20 inch slot, 5 per day, only 2 greater than 20 inches
  • Sunfish – no size limit, 50 per day
  • Crappie – 9 inch minimum, 25 per day
  • Channel catfish – 15 inch minimum, 8 per day

Outboard motor use restricted to 10 hp or less.The following are prohibited on this property: swimming, open air fires, trotlines, littering, sailboats, and jetskis.


  • Double-lane concrete boat ramp with courtesy pier.
  • 150-foot fishing pier.
  • Large, paved parking lot.
  • Restroom facilities.
  • All facilities are handicapped accessible.
  • Hours of use: 24 hours per day.


Fish Habitat Enhancement

Several Christmas tree brush piles were installed in Sandy River Reservoir to provide fish cover and to offer good places for anglers to concentrate their efforts. In addition, personnel hinge-cut shoreline trees into the water to provide shoreline cover. Look for these structures the next time you visit Sandy River Reservoir.

Fish Stocking

Stocking to supplement the channel catfish fishery is performed annually at a density of 7,400 fish.

More Information

For more information on Sandy River Reservoir, please contact:

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
107 Foxwood Drive
Farmville, VA 23901

For information on the town of Farmville, please contact:

Farmville Chamber of Commerce
116 North Main Street
Farmville, VA 23901