CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced that it has stocked nearly 6,000 pounds of catfish in 41 ponds and lakes across the state in preparation of its annual Free Fishing Weekend this weekend.

Free Fishing Weekend will be held across the state on June 13 and 14 and no fishing license will be required for West Virginians who wish to participate. DNR officials said that those who enjoy themselves and wish to continue fishing after this weekend can purchase a fishing license on the DNR’s website.

“This is the perfect time to take your son, daughter or grandchild to your favorite fishing spot and get them hooked on fishing,” said Mark Scott, assistant chief in charge of fisheries for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “Free fishing weekend is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.”

The DNR typically holds fishing derbies during on free fishing days but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bowden Fishing Derby has been canceled and the Little Beaver Kids Fishing Derby has been rescheduled for July 11.

The DNR has stocked catfish all around the state in preparation for the weekend event.

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

“Summer catfish stockings have become really popular over the last few years and we’re excited to be giving anglers and their families another chance to catch a fish and enjoy our state’s natural beauty,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “Whether it’s trout in the spring or catfish in the summer, our stocking program provides incredible fishing opportunities for West Virginians throughout the year.”

DNR officials said that catfish stocking starts each year as the spring trout season winds down and this year, it coincides with Free Fishing Weekend.

“There are a good number of trophy-sized channel catfish in the mix this year,” said Jim Hedrick, DNR hatchery program manager. “We even have a few albinos out there, so anglers have a really unique opportunity to catch a white catfish.”

The Catfish Stocking Locations are listed below:

District 1
Coopers Rocks Lake, Dunkard Fork Lake, Hinkle Lake, Mason Lake, Pendleton Lake, Teter Creek Lake, Tomlinson Run Lake and Deegan Lake.

District 2
Cacapon State Park, Edwards Run Pond, Fort Ashby Lake, Parker Hollow Lake, Poorhouse Lake and South Mill Creek Lake.

District 3
Big Ditch Lake, Camp Caesar Lake, French Creek Pond, Handley Pond, Indian Rock Lake, Seneca Lake, Wallback Lake and Watoga Lake.

District 4
Anawalt Lake, Babcock Lake, Berwind Lake, Little Beaver State Park, Moncove Lake, Pipestem Lake and Plum Orchard Lake.

District 5
Barboursville Lake, Chief Logan State Park, Coonskin Pond, Hurricane Lake, Krodel Lake, Laurel Lake, Lick Creek Pond and Miller Fork Pond.

District 6
Cedar Creek State Park, Conaway Run Lake, Mountwood Lake and North Bend State Park pond.