The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced plans for a special golden rainbow trout stocking in 2018. During the 2017 National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration Sept. 23-24 at Stonewall Resort State Park, DNR Director Stephen McDaniel revealed that the event, which will be called "West Virginia Gold Rush," will lead off DNR's spring trout stocking season the week of April 2-6 with special stockings and events across the state.
That week, DNR will stock only golden rainbow trout in designated lakes and streams across the state, including those in several state parks. Normally, golden rainbow trout are stocked at a one-to-10 ratio with regular rainbow trout. The purpose of "West Virginia Gold Rush" is to get people, especially children and new anglers, excited about trout fishing by giving them a good opportunity to catch this popular fish.
"The Gold Rush stocking will be the week after Easter when many schools in West Virginia and neighboring states are on spring break," said Jim Hedrick, Hatchery Program Manager. "Since many children and their families will be off from school the Monday following Easter, we wanted to announce, in advance, five state parks where the golden rainbows will be stocked so they can plan to come out and have a unique fishing experience."
Golden rainbow trout will be stocked at Cacapon, Blackwater Falls, Pipestem Resort, Watoga and North Bend state parks, where special activities will be offered for visitors. Anyone who catches a golden rainbow at one of those five state parks Monday, April 2, is eligible to receive a Gold Rush Golden Rainbow Trout Award certificate.
More state parks, along with about 27 lakes and streams to be announced later, will participate in Gold Rush stockings later in the week. Hedrick said about 25,000 golden rainbows, all raised at the Bowden, Spring Run and Reeds Creek trout hatcheries, will be stocked during the Gold Rush week. All other scheduled stocking sites will still receive their normal amount of rainbow trout during the week of the event.
Introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia's centennial celebration, the golden rainbow trout is prized by anglers young and old for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. For more than 50 years, golden rainbows have provided a special experience for anglers who have been lucky enough to catch them, and have been a source of frustration for those who haven't.
Those who want an up-close look at golden rainbow trout may do so at DNR's "West Virginia Gold Rush" booth at Stonewall Resort State Park during the 2017 National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24. Tours of the Petersburg and Reeds Creek hatcheries, where gold rainbow trout are reared, also are available. They also can be seen at the state's other five trout hatcheries during certain times of the year. West Virginia's hatchery facilities play an important role in the state's fisheries management efforts and are open daily to the public.