CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia Gold Rush is in full swing, and the state has added incentives beyond bragging rights for catching one of the coveted golden rainbow trout.

The bright yellow golden trout is prized by anglers, and during Gold Rush, March 29 through April 9 in 2022, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources stocks them at 62 locations across the state. According to the WVDNR, over 50,000 trouts are stocked during Gold Rush. But where should you go to catch a golden trout?

The DNR released a map of all the locations that are stocked during Gold Rush. The places are the north central West Virginia lakes and streams that are being stocked:

  • Curtisville Lake in Marion County
  • Mason Lake in Monongalia County
  • Coopers Rock Lake in Monongalia and Preston counties
  • Tygart Tailwater in Taylor County
  • Teter Creek Lake in Barbour County
  • Mill Creek Reservoir in Randolph County
  • Black River
  • Thomas Park Lake in Tucker County
  • Pendleton Lake in Tucker County
  • Stonewall Jackson Lake in Lewis County
  • French Creek Pond in Upshur County
  • Burnsville Tailwater in Braxton County
  • Upper Shavers Fork
  • Spruce Knob Lake in Randolph County

Other locations in West Virginia that are being stocked can be found here.

If you do catch a golden trout, check for a numbered tag. Of the 50,000 trout, 100 of them are specially marked, and people who catch those trout have a chance to win prizes including a lifetime WV fishing license, a stay at a West Virginia state park, a state park gift card and Gold Rush merchandise. Steps for how to enter the drawing can be found here.

These fish were selectively and successfully bred by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists over several years and introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration, according to the West Virginia DNR. Decades later, the West Virginia golden rainbow trout has been a popular sport fish, reeling in anglers from all over the country.

In order to fish for a West Virginia golden trout, you must have a valid West Virginia fishing license with a current trout stamp.