CLIFFTOP, W.Va. (WBOY) — A ceremony was held at Babcock State Park Monday for the 2023 West Virginia Gold Rush, which is set to open to eager anglers on Tuesday.

“During the Gold Rush, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will stock 50,000 golden rainbow trout,” according to a release from the Office of Governor Justice.

When the sixth edition of the West Virginia Gold Rush kicks off on March 28, special golden rainbow trout stockings will take place at 68 lakes and streams around the state until April 8. The ceremony at Babcock State Park included its own stocking.

“Like gold panned from a mountain stream in the old west, catching a golden rainbow trout is an experience you won’t forget,” WVDNR director Brett McMillion said. “To be able to give anglers and their families — especially kids — a really good chance to catch one of these golden beauties is a reminder that the natural resources we have here in West Virginia are to be treasured and preserved for future generations to enjoy. We hope that the excitement and thrill of the West Virginia Gold Rush will inspire more people to explore our state’s natural wonders and to appreciate its diverse wildlife and unique habitats.”

Anyone who catches one of the 100 golden rainbow trout with a numbered tag can enter the tag number at for a chance to win a free West Virginia lifetime fishing license, a one-night stay at a state park or forest cabin, a West Virginia State Parks gift card or exclusive Gold Rush merchandise.

During the ceremony, Governor Justice also announced the opening of Old Sewell Road, a hiking trail connecting Babcock State Park with New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, while also presenting certificates to the West Virginia Division of Highways Central Heavy Highway Maintenance Crew that helped renovate it.