Free fishing extended through May for West Virginia residents

West Virginia

Courtesy:
West Virginia Department of Commerce

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice has announced that West Virginia residents can enjoy another month of free fishing.

The requirement to possess a fishing license to fish in state-regulated waters has been waived for state residents through May 31, according to a press release.  Anglers are asked to continue practicing safe social distancing measures.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources regular trout stockings will continue as set forth in the 2020 Fishing Regulations. With these regular stockings, thousands of golden rainbow trout are being stocked in streams and rivers throughout West Virginia, the release states.

Anglers are encouraged to watch out for for specially-tagged Goldens. Of the 50,000 golden trout stocked, 150 fish have specially marked, numbered tags. Anglers who reel in a catch with a numbered tag may enter to win one of five grand prizes. They can do so here.

DNR Law Enforcement will continue to patrol all state waterways, according to the release. Officers may require proof of West Virginia residency, a valid driver’s license or a state-issued ID. Existing license and stamp requirements for non-residents will remain in place. All fishing regulations remain in effect both for residents and nonresidents; these include bag limits, slot limits, catch-and-release areas and fly-fishing-only areas.

This waiver of the license requirement applies only to fishing licenses. It also includes a waiver for trout and conservation stamps. All requirements for hunting licenses remain in effect, the release states.

Anglers are reminded not to interfere with trout stocking personnel, follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a safe distance from hatchery staff members. A DNR Law Enforcement officer will join each stocking run.

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