There's Gold in Them Thar' Hills (of West Virginia)

Looking for a unique fishing trip? Head to West Virginia this spring, where golden trout will be stocked in some lakes and streams.

There's Gold in Them Thar' Hills (of West Virginia)

West Virginia officials will stock special golden trout for the annual spring 'Gold Rush' fishing opportunities in select streams in the state. (Photo: West Virginia DNR)

Anglers occasionally come up with unique fish tales after catching a 3-pound goldfish released in a lake or the vegetation-eating pacu usually sensationalized in headlines as a piranha.

How about a chance to catch a golden trout?

The West Virginia Gold Rush will be held again in April, with special golden rainbow trout released in more than 55 lakes and streams. Anglers fishing April 1-6 who catch one of the trout with a special tag can win a limited edition t-shirt.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will release 40,000 golden rainbow trout for the event.

“The first West Virginia Gold Rush in 2018 exceeded expectations and brought hundreds of anglers to our lakes and streams,” said WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “You can’t catch the West Virginia golden rainbow trout anywhere else, so this is really something special for anglers and their families.”

Go for Gold

West Virginia DNR, like some other states, releases hatchery-reared trout throughout the state for put-and-take fishing opportunities. These include a mix of golden rainbow and regular rainbow trout. For the Gold Rush, only golden rainbow trout will be released.

“People loved the Gold Rush last year, but we wanted to give families even more opportunities to participate this year by announcing which lakes and streams will be stocked on April 6,” said Jim Hedrick, WVDNR hatchery program manager. “This will help families plan a trip and make overnight reservations if they need a place to stay.”

Several lakes and streams receiving the weekend stockings are in or near West Virginia State Parks. The full list of stockings is highlighted at

“The purpose of West Virginia Gold Rush is to get people, especially children and new anglers, excited about trout fishing,” Hedrick said. “State parks are a great place to catch this popular fish and enjoy special Gold Rush activities. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

WVDNR will also release a few golden rainbow trout with a yellow tag that can be redeemed for an exclusive West Virginia Gold Rush T-shirt. If you catch one of these fish, instructions for getting the free shirt are available on the Gold Rush website.

Anglers must have a West Virginia fishing license and current trout stamp. Licenses and stamps are good for the calendar year and available online at You’ll also need a valid form of identification. All anglers 15 and older are required to have a license, but kids younger than 15, regardless of residency, don’t need one.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.