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Stream Regulations Summary

Overview of Special Regulations for Various Streams

Below is a comprehensive summary of stream sections classified under "Special Regulations" across different counties:

  • Accotink Creek (Fairfax): Operates under Delayed Harvest regulation.
  • Beaver Creek (Bristol): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Big Mocassin Creek (Scott): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Big Stony Creek (Mountain Fork) (Wise/Scott): Managed under Catch and Release policy.
  • Big Tumbling Creek (Washington): Subject to Seasonal Catch and Release regulations.
  • Big Wilson Creek (Grayson): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Brumley Creek (Washington): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Buffalo Creek (Rockbridge): Requires a minimum length of 16 inches with a limit of 2 per day.
  • Back Creek (Bath): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Cabin Creek (Grayson): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Chestnut Creek (Carroll): Operates under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Conway River (Greene/Madison): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Dan River (Patrick): Requires a minimum length of 16 inches with a limit of 2 per day; also designated as Catch and Release.
  • East Fork Chestnut Creek (Grayson/Carroll): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Garth Run (Madison): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Green Cove Creek (Washington): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Hardy Creek (Lee): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • High Knob Lake (Wise): Requires a minimum length of 14 inches with a limit of 2 per day.
  • Holliday Creek (Appomattox/Buckingham): Operates under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Holmes Run (Fairfax): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Indian Creek (Lee): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Jackson River (Bath): Requires a minimum length of 16 inches with a limit of 2 per day.
  • Jackson River (Tailwater) (Alleghany): Subject to Special slot regulations.
  • Little Stony Creek (Giles): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Little Stony Creek (Scott): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Little Stony Creek (Shenandoah): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Little Tumbling Creek (Smyth/Tazewell): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Little Wilson Creek (Grayson): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Middle Fork Powell River (Wise): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Mill Creek (Giles): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Mill Creek (Grayson): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Mossy Creek (Augusta): Requires a minimum length of 20 inches with a limit of 1 per day for Fly Fishing Only (FFO).
  • North Creek (Botetourt): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • North Fork Buffalo River (Amherst): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • North Fork Pound River (Wise): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • North Fork Moormans River (Albemarle): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • North River (Augusta): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Passage Creek (Warren): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Pedlar River (Amherst): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Piney River (Nelson/Amherst): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Pound River (Dickenson): Requires a minimum length of 16 inches with a limit of 2 per day.
  • Pound River (Wise): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Quebec Branch (Grayson): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Ramsey Draft (Augusta): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Rapidan River (Madison): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Roanoke River (Roanoke): Falls under Delayed Harvest regulations.
  • Roaring Fork (Tazewell): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Roaring Run (Botetourt): Requires a minimum length of 16 inches with a limit of 2 per day.
  • Snake Creek (Carroll): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Smith Creek (Alleghany): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Smith River (Tailwater) (Henry): Subject to Special slot regulations.
  • South Fork Holston River (Smyth): Requires a minimum length of 16 inches with a limit of 2 per day; also designated as Catch and Release.
  • South River (City of Waynesboro) (Augusta): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • South River (Augusta): Requires a minimum length of 20 inches with a limit of 1 per day for Fly Fishing Only (FFO).
  • Spring Run (Bath): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • St. Mary’s River (Augusta): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Stewart’s Creek (Carroll): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Venrick Run (Wythe): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Wildcat Hollow (Fauquier): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Whitetop Laurel Creek (Washington): Designated as Catch and Release.
  • Wilburn Branch (Grayson): Requires a minimum length of 9 inches.
  • Wolf Creek (Abingdon): Designated as Catch and Release.

A trout license is required from October 1 through June 15 for streams marked with an asterisk.

Bait Allowed Areas

In certain designated areas, bait is permitted for trout fishing. Here's a breakdown of these locations:

Jackson River Tailwater (Alleghany County)

  • Location: From Gathright Dam downstream to the Westvaco Dam at Covington.
  • Regulations:
    • No rainbow trout between 12 to 16 inches allowed for harvest.
    • No brown trout less than 20 inches allowed for harvest.
    • Creel limit: 4 trout per day (combined rainbow and brown), with only 1 brown trout over 20 inches allowed.
    • All rainbow trout between 12 and 16 inches and brown trout less than 20 inches must be released immediately.
    • The statewide minimum size limit of 7 inches for rainbow trout does not apply in this section.
  • Bait: Allowed

Lake Moomaw (Alleghany/Bath Counties)

  • Location: Entire reservoir.
  • Regulations:
    • Special 16-inch minimum size limit for trout.
    • Creel limit: 2 trout per day.
  • Bait: Allowed

Smith River (Henry County)

  • Location: From Philpott Dam downstream to the State Route 636 bridge crossing (Mitchell Bridge), approximately 31 miles downstream of Philpott Dam and approximately 10.5 miles below Martinsville Dam.
  • Regulations:
    • No brown trout between 10 to 24 inches allowed for harvest.
    • Only 1 brown trout per day longer than 24 inches permitted.
    • 7-inch minimum length limit for rainbow and brook trout.
    • Creel limit: 6 trout per day, with only one brown trout allowed to be larger than 24 inches.
  • Bait: Allowed

South Holston Reservoir (Washington County)

  • Regulations:
    • Creel limit: 7 trout per day, with only 2 allowed to be Lake trout.
    • No length limits specified.
  • Bait: Allowed

Note: Please refer to licenses and regulations in the reciprocal section on License Information.

9-Inch Minimum Regulation Areas

Big and Little Wilson Creeks, Quebec Branch, Wilburn Branch, and Mill Creek (Grayson County)

  • Location: Within Grayson Highlands State Park and the Jefferson National Forest Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
  • Access: Route 806 and 817 off U.S. Route 58. Expect hiking for fishing in this area.

Cabin Creek (Grayson County)

  • Location: Within Grayson Highlands State Park and the Jefferson National Forest Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
  • Access: Refer to above location details.

Conway River/Devils Ditch (Greene and Madison Counties)

  • Location: Within the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Shenandoah National Park.
  • Access: Route 615 from Graves Mill.

Garth Run (Madison County)

  • Location: Within the Rapidan WMA.
  • Access: Route 615 from Graves Mill. Mostly accessible by foot due to entering a gorge.

Little Stony Creek (Giles County)

  • Location: Within the Jefferson National Forest.
  • Access: Near Pembroke, reachable via Route 623.

Little Stony Creek (Shenandoah County)

  • Location: Within the George Washington National Forest, including Woodstock Reservoir.
  • Access: West of Woodstock, accessible partially by Forest Service Road 92 and foot trail.

Mill Creek (Giles County)

  • Location: Upstream of the Poplar Street Bridge in the Town of Narrows.
  • Access: Parking area on Northview Street off State Route 100, south of Narrows.

North Fork Buffalo River (Amherst County)

  • Location: Within the George Washington National Forest.
  • Access: Forest trail off Forest Road 51 or from the end of State Route 635.

St. Mary’s River (Augusta County)

  • Location: Above the gate near the George Washington National Forest property line.
  • Access: East of Raphine off Route 608, accessible mostly by foot trail, popular for backpacking.

Ramsey’s Draft (Augusta County)

  • Location: Within the George Washington National Forest.
  • Access: Drive west of Churchville on Route 250 and look for Mountain Home Picnic Area; foot trail parallels the stream from the picnic area.

16-Inch Minimum, 2 Fish Per Day Regulation Areas

Buffalo Creek (Rockbridge County)

  • Location: From the confluence of Collier’s Creek upstream 2.9 miles to the confluence of North and South Buffalo creeks.
  • Access: Requires a free written landowner permit due to flowing through private land. Obtain permit and additional information from DWR’s website.

Dan River (Patrick County)

  • Location: From Talbott Dam approximately 6 miles downstream to a sign posted just upstream from the confluence of the Dan River and Townes Reservoir.
  • Access: Upper reaches accessible via Route 614 south from Meadows of Dan, turn right on Route 601, and proceed to Talbott Dam. Lower reach accessible by boat at the upper end of Townes Reservoir. Permit from Northbrook Virginia Hydro LLC required, obtain information by calling 276-251-5141.

Jackson River (Bath County)

  • Location: From the Forest Service swinging bridge, located just upstream from the mouth of Muddy Run, upstream 3 miles to the last ford on Forest Service Road 481D.
  • Access: Can only be reached by foot travel, either from the Hidden Valley area or off Route 623 and FS Road 481. Multiple hook artificial lures permitted.

Pound River (Dickenson County)

  • Location: From a sign 0.4 miles below Flannagan Dam downstream 1.2 miles to a sign just upstream of the confluence of the Pound River and the Russell Fork River.
  • Access: Can be accessed from Flannagan Dam, owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Roaring Run (Botetourt County)

  • Location: Special trophy trout section located in the Jefferson National Forest between the third foot bridge upstream of the Roaring Run Furnace Day Use Area and the Botetourt/Alleghany County line.
  • Access: Take Route 615 off US Route 220 west of Eagle Rock to Route 621 at Strom. Lower section within the National Forest remains catchable stocked trout water.

South Fork Holston River (Smyth County)

  • Location: Approximately 4 miles of stream extending from 500 feet above the concrete dam at Buller Fish Hatchery, upstream to the upper Jefferson National Forest boundary (above the crossing of the Appalachian Trail).
  • Access: South of Marion and west of the community of Sugar Grove off Route 16. Most of this section accessible from Route 670.

Stream Regulations in Augusta County, Virginia

Mossy Creek Fly-Fishing Restrictions

Located in Augusta County, Mossy Creek offers anglers a unique fishing experience. Stretching for 4 miles from the Augusta/Rockingham county line to Joseph’s Spring confluence, this stream imposes strict regulations.

Minimum Size Limit: Fishermen must adhere to a 20-inch minimum size limit, ensuring the preservation of fish populations.

Daily Catch Limit: Anglers are permitted to catch only one fish per day, promoting sustainable fishing practices.

Fly-Fishing Only: Mossy Creek restricts fishing methods to fly-fishing exclusively, adding to the challenge and excitement for anglers.

Landowner Permit Requirement: Access to Mossy Creek necessitates a free written landowner permit. These permits are available through the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) website.

South River Fishing Regulations

In Augusta County, South River provides another fishing opportunity, but with its own set of regulations.

Section Limits: Fishing is allowed from the North Oak Lane Bridge in Waynesboro upstream to a sign posted approximately 1.5 miles above the Rt. 626 (Shalom Road) Bridge.

Private Property Access: This section of South River flows through private property, requiring anglers to obtain a free written landowner permit before fishing.

Permit Information: Like Mossy Creek, permits and additional information for South River can be obtained from the DWR website.

Catch & Release Streams of Virginia

Beaver Creek - Bristol, Washington County

Catch and Release Only: Anglers must release all caught fish within the boundaries of Sugar Hollow Park.

Big Stony Creek - Wise and Scott Counties

Catch and Release Only: Fishing limited to the portion within the Jefferson National Forest from High Knob Lake outlet to the confluence of Chimney Rock Fork and Big Stony Creek.

Brumley Creek - Washington County

Catch and Release Only: Stream and its tributaries from Hidden Valley WMA boundary to Hidden Valley Lake Dam. Access via hike-in from Hidden Valley WMA.

Dan River - Patrick County

Catch and Release Only: Section between Townes Dam and Pinnacles Hydroelectric Powerhouse. Permits required from Northbrook Virginia Hydro LLC.

East Fork Chestnut Creek - Grayson and Carroll Counties

Catch and Release Only: Stream and its tributaries upstream from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Little Stony Creek - Scott County

Catch and Release Only: Portion within Jefferson National Forest from Falls of Little Stony Creek to Hanging Rock Recreation Area.

Little Tumbling Creek - Smyth and Tazewell Counties

Catch and Release Only: Stream within Clinch Mountain WMA. Access via Route 91 with foot access to headwaters.

Big Tumbling Creek - Russell, Smyth, and Washington Counties

Seasonal Catch and Release: From foot of Clinch Mountain to Briar Cove Bridge and Laurel Bed Creek to Laurel Bed Dam. Closed five days prior to Fee Fishing Season. Trout license required.

North Creek - Botetourt County

Catch and Release Only: Stream and its tributaries upstream from North Creek Campground.

North Fork Moormans River - Albemarle County

Catch and Release Only: From head of Sugar Hollow Reservoir to Shenandoah National Park boundary.

Rapidan River - Madison County

Catch and Release Only: Upstream from lower Shenandoah National Park boundary. Access via Route 662 and Route 649.

Redbud Run - Frederick County

Catch and Release Only: 1.3-mile section within Redbud Run WMA from Route 656 to just downstream of Route 660.

Roaring Fork - Tazewell County

Catch and Release Only: Upstream from Beartown Wilderness Area southwest boundary. Access via Forest Service Road 222 off Route 16.

Smith Creek - Alleghany County

Catch and Release Only: From Clifton Forge Dam to Forest Service boundary above C & O Dam. Access via Route 606.

Snake Creek - Carroll County

Catch and Release Only: Big Snake Creek below Hall Ford and Little Snake Creek below junction of Routes 922 and 674 downstream to Route 58.

South Fork Holston River - Smyth County

Catch and Release Only: From Buller Fish Hatchery concrete dam downstream to lower boundary of Buller Fish Hatchery.

South River - Augusta County/City of Waynesboro

Catch and Release Only: From Second St. Bridge upstream 2 miles to Wayne Ave. Bridge in City of Waynesboro.

Spring Run - Bath County

Catch and Release Only: From confluence with Cowpasture River upstream to cable and posted sign at Coursey Springs Hatchery discharge. Trout license required October 1 through June 15.

Stewart's Creek - Carroll County

Catch and Release Only: Approximately 4.5 miles within Stewarts Creek WMA, including North Fork and South Fork Stewart's Creek.

Venrick Run - Wythe County

Catch and Release Only: Within Big Survey WMA and Town of Wytheville property. Access from parking lot on Town property via State Route 684.

Whitetop Laurel/Green Cove Creeks - Washington County

Catch and Release Only: Whitetop Laurel upstream from first railroad trestle above Taylor Valley to mouth of Green Cove Creek at Creek Junction, and upstream from mouth of Straight Branch to sign at Forest Service boundary just downstream of Taylors Valley. Green Cove Creek from Rt. 859 downstream to its mouth.

Wildcat Hollow - Fauquier County

Catch and Release Only: Within G. R. Thompson WMA. Foot access available from lower Ted Lake Trail parking area off Rt. 688.

Wolf Creek - Washington County

Catch and Release Only: Within Abingdon Muster Grounds in Town of Abingdon from Colonial Avenue downstream to Stone Mill Road.

Delayed Harvest Waters in Virginia

During specific periods, from October 1 through May 31, fishing in the following waters is permitted under regulated conditions:

  • Artificial Lures Only: Only artificial lures are permitted for fishing.
  • Catch and Release: No trout may be kept; catch and release only.
  • No Bait: No bait may be used or in possession while fishing.
  • Trout License Requirement: A trout license is required from October 1 to June 15.

Accotink Creek - Fairfax County

  • Portion from King Arthur Road downstream 3.1 miles to Route 620 (Braddock Road).
  • Access via FCPA Wakefield Park facility off Braddock Road.

Back Creek - Bath County

  • Portion from Rt. 600 Bridge below Virginia Power Back Creek Dam downstream 1.5 miles to Rt. 600 Bridge at lower boundary of Virginia Power Recreational Area.
  • Access via Route 39 west from Warm Springs to Mountain Grove, then Route 600 for 6 miles.

Big Moccasin Creek - Scott County

  • Portion from VDOT foot bridge at lower end of Gate City downstream to Wadlow Gap Highway Bridge (Highway 58/421).

Chestnut Creek - Carroll County

  • Portion from U.S. Rt. 58 Bridge downstream 11.4 miles to confluence with New River.
  • Parallels New River Trail State Park, with parking at state road crossings and Galax trailhead.

Hardy Creek - Lee County

  • Portion from VDOT swinging bridge just upstream of Route 658 ford downstream to Route 661 bridge.

Holliday Creek - Appomattox/Buckingham Counties

  • Portion from Rt. 640 crossing downstream 2.8 miles to sign at headwaters of Holliday Lake.
  • Access within Appomattox/Buckingham State Forest via Route 24 to Routes 640 or 614.

Holmes Run - Fairfax County

  • Portion from Lake Barcroft Dam downstream 1.2 miles to sign posted at Alexandria City line.
  • Access from parking lot off Columbia Pike (Route 244).

Indian Creek - Lee County

  • Portion within Wilderness Road State Park, accessible from Route 58.

Middle Fork of Powell River - Wise County

  • Portion from trestle bridge just downstream of Town of Appalachia to trestle bridge just upstream of Town of Big Stone Gap.
  • Parallels Business Route 23.

North Fork of Pound and Pound Rivers - Wise County

  • Portion from base of North Fork of Pound Dam downstream to confluence with Indian Creek.
  • Access at North Fork of Pound Dam and parking lots within town of Pound.

North River - Augusta County

  • Portion from base of Elkhorn Dam downstream 1.5 miles to sign posted at head of Staunton City Reservoir.
  • Remote section accessible by foot trail from Elkhorn Lake parking.

Passage Creek - Warren County

  • Portion from Shenandoah/Warren County line downstream approximately 1 mile through Front Royal Fish Hatchery.
  • Parking available on Forest Service lands adjacent to Route 678 or Department lands adjacent to Route 619.

Pedlar River - Amherst County

  • Portion from City of Lynchburg/George Washington National Forest boundary downstream 2.7 miles to George Washington National Forest boundary southeast of Buena Vista.
  • Access via three sites along FS 39 off Route 607.

Piney River - Nelson/Amherst Counties

  • Portion from Piney River Trailhead of Virginia Blue Ridge Trail downstream to Route 674 crossing at Roses Mill Road.

Roanoke River - Roanoke County and City of Salem

  • Two sections located near Roanoke with delayed harvest regulations.
  • Green Hill Park section from Route 760 Bridge upstream 1 mile to sign posted at upper end of park.
  • Salem section along Riverside Drive from Colorado Street Bridge downstream approximately 2 miles to Route 419 Bridge. Access from Riverside Drive side of river.

Fee Fishing Areas in Virginia

Fee fishing areas in Virginia offer put-and-take trout fishing, with trout stocked several times weekly throughout the season. These areas provide an opportunity reminiscent of the opening day of trout season, occurring on the first Saturday in April at 9:00 a.m. (Note: Fee season may vary among fee fishing areas and is closed to fishing 5 days prior to opening day). During the fee fishing season, anglers over 12 years old need a daily permit ($8.00) in addition to a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license. Children under 16 are exempt from needing a fishing license. Children 12 and under can fish without a permit when accompanied by a permitted adult, as long as their combined creel does not exceed that of the adult (6 trout). After the fee fishing season, these areas revert to designated stocked trout waters, requiring a trout license instead of the daily permit. The creel limit is six fish per day, with a minimum length of 7 inches, and fishermen are required to use separate stringers. Bait or artificial lures may be used as posted, and regulations for children-only fishing areas (where applicable) are posted.

Clinch Mountain Fee Fishing Area

Located approximately 7 miles west of Saltville in southwest Virginia, this fee area comprises about 7 miles of Big Tumbling Creek and its tributaries, Briar Cove Creek and Laurel Bed Creek. A daily permit ($8.00) is required from the first Saturday in April through September 30. Trout are stocked 4 times per week during the fee period, with fishing starting at 5:00 a.m. daily (except 9:00 a.m. on opening day) and ending one hour after sunset. Access to Laurel Bed Lake is also closed the 5 days prior to opening day.

Directions: From Saltville, take Rt. 107, turn left onto Rt. 91, then right onto Rt. 634, bear left onto Rt. 613 for 3.5 miles, then right onto Rt. 747 to the area.

Crooked Creek Fee Fishing Area

Located in Carroll County, 5 miles east of Galax, this area consists of a 5-mile stocked section and a 2-mile section managed as a wild trout fishery. A daily permit ($8.00) is required from the first Saturday in April through September 30. Trout are stocked 4 times per week during the fee period, with fishing starting at 5:00 a.m. daily (except 9:00 a.m. on opening day) and ending one hour after sunset.

Directions: From Galax, take Rt. 58 east to Woodlawn, then take Rt. 620 south approximately 4 miles to the area.

Douthat State Park Fee Fishing Area

This area includes Douthat State Park Lake (60 acres) and 4 miles of Wilson Creek. Trout are stocked 2 times per week during the fee period, except for the final week which receives a single stocking of a double load. A daily permit ($8.00) is required from the first Saturday in April through June 15 and from September 15 through October 31. From June 16 through September 14, no trout will be stocked, and no daily fee or trout license is required. Fishing starts at 6:00 a.m. daily, except on opening day (9:00 a.m.). A children-only area is established on Wilson Creek below the dam.

Directions: Located 7 miles north of Clifton Forge on Rt. 629, accessible by Exit 27 off I-64.

For maps and detailed trout fishing information, visit Virginia Wildlife's website.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.