The 2024 West Virginia Gold Rush: Week 1 Fishing Spots

The 2024 West Virginia Gold Rush is officially here, and this contest will be bigger and better than ever before. Avid fishers from across the state and even the world take part in this West Virginia tradition.

What is Gold Rush in West Virginia?

The West Virginia Gold Rush is a two-week-long fishing contest. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will stock 68 lakes and streams across the state with golden rainbow trout, which received its first widespread stocking in 1963. From April 1-13, participating anglers will get a chance to reel in one of 50,000 stocked golden trout, 500 of which are tagged, for a chance to win exclusive West Virginia prizes. Make sure you check the golden trout for a tag and save the assigned number to claim your prize.

For week one, Here are the locations where you can cast a line and enjoy a time of Gold Rush fishing from April 1-6 in Almost Heaven.

To participate, purchase your West Virginia fishing license here.

Cacapon Lake

Cacapon Resort State Park

Cacapon Lake at Cacapon Resort State Park is ideal for Gold Rush fishing. Six acres provide you an ample chance to reel in a golden trout as well as bass, catfish and bluegill. Fishing here while surrounded by 6,000 relaxing acres of wilderness is the perfect opportunity to soak in the great outdoors.

Cedar Creek Lake

Cedar Creek State Park

Cedar Creek State Park in Glenville is another designated fishing spot for the West Virginia Gold Rush. There are three lakes within the state park, and other fish that are stocked every year include bass, muskie and other fish. This area is also popular for hiking, miniature golf, camping and much more.

Seneca Lake

Seneca State Forest

Seneca State Forest in Pocahontas County is the oldest of West Virginia’s state forests. Seneca Lake is four acres large and is perfectly suited for you to reel in your prize. Enjoy fishing on warm spring days at Seneca Lake – all within 11,684 acres of lush forest suited for hiking and much more.

Summit Lake

Greenbrier County, West Virginia

Part of Summit Lake Campground in Greenbrier County, Summit Lake is a spot worth checking out during the West Virginia Gold Rush. This 43-acre lake is large enough for a full experience and has a boat ramp and docks for access. After a day of fishing, explore the nearby mountain town of Richwood for even more recreational activities as well as local dining and entertainment.

Watoga Lake

Watoga State Park

Watoga Lake is nestled within the 10,100 beautiful acres of Watoga State Park, West Virginia’s largest state park. This 11-acre lake is perfect for boat fishing and even offers boat rentals. You’ll be sure to have a chance at snagging a golden trout in these waters.

Blackwater River

Tucker County, West Virginia

Blackwater River is 31 miles long and flows through the mountains of Canaan Valley in Tucker County. There are plenty of fishing spots along the river. Blackwater River eventually flows into Blackwater Falls State Park and creates the 57-foot Blackwater Falls.

North Fork of South Branch Potomac River

Potomac Highlands Region

Another golden trout hotspot is the North Fork of South Branch Potomac River within the Potomac Highlands. While this is perfectly suited for fishing, there is a wide variety of rapids types are found on this consistent class II run for water sports like kayaking and canoeing.

Find more Waters

A Gold Rush Must-Have

Before you hit the waters, make sure your fishing license is up to date. A valid fishing license with a current trout stamp is required for catching one of West Virginia’s golden rainbow trout. All anglers 15 years and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license and a valid form of identification while fishing. Licenses are valid throughout the entire calendar year. Whether you’re looking to come for the day or stay for a week, there’s a West Virginia fishing license for you.

Purchase a Fishing License

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