5 WV State Parks to Visit This Fall if You Want to Catch a Trout

With cooler temperatures and peaceful lakes and streams surrounded by autumn color, fall is a great time for fishing in West Virginia. And with trout stockings returning Oct. 18-25, now is the perfect time to plan a trip. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be stocking trout in lakes and streams around the state, but here are five waters in state parks and forests you should check out this fall.

Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park may be known for its iconic waterfalls and vista views, but this state park also has some incredible year-round trout fishing waters. You might be able to catch trout in Pendleton Lake, but Blackwater River is where you want to be during the fall. This catch-and-release stream is stocked in October.

Due to renovations to the lodge, overnight accommodations at Blackwater Falls are limited. If you need somewhere to stay, consider booking a lodge room or cabin at nearby Canaan Valley Resort State Park.

Cacapon Resort State Park

With a newly renovated and expanded lodge and dozens of other upgrades, Cacapon Resort State Park is a perfect place for an extended fishing trip or getaway with your family. You can enjoy all kinds of outdoor adventures at Cacapon, but when it comes to fishing you’ll want to cast your line in Cacapon Lake, which is stocked in October. Need a place to stay? Book a stay at the lodge and be one of the first people to enjoy these beautiful new rooms. 

Coopers Rock State Forest 

Another park known for iconic views, Coopers Rock State Forest is one of the most popular destinations in West Virginia. While everyone is out taking in the views at Ravens Rock, sneak away and cast your line in Coopers Rock Lake, which gets stocked in October.

If one day of fishing isn’t enough for you, extend your trip by staying at nearby Tygart Lake State Park, which happens to be another great place to catch trout in the fall.

Tygart Lake State Park

Tygart Lake State Park is another place where you can getaway for a weekend and cast your cares away. Whether you plan a trip to this park on its own or stop by after enjoying fishing adventures at Coopers Rock, make sure you find your way to the Tygart Lake tailwaters, which gets stocked in October. Need a place to stay? Spend the night at Tygart Lake’s lodge.

Watoga State Park

Watoga State Park is enjoying newfound fame as an internationally recognized Dark Sky Park, but this park’s starry waters are also a great place to catch a fish. The park is popular with river and boat anglers in the summer, but you’ll want to cast your line in Watoga Lake, which is stocked in October. Need a place to stay? Watoga has several cabins available in the fall.

Plan your West Virginia State Parks fishing trip today

If you aren’t able to visit one of these parks during fall trout stocking in October, don’t let that discourage you from booking a fishing trip later in the year. Trout are resilient and plenty of fish remain in the weeks and months following a stocking. In fact, many anglers have caught trout holdovers into the following January and February. So, go ahead and plan a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday family fishing trip.

Buy your fishing license and trout stamp

While fishing for trout, all anglers 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license, trout stamp and valid form of identification. To learn more about West Virginia’s fishing regulations, visit WVdnr.gov/fishing-regulations. To purchase a fishing license and trout stamps, visit WVfish.com.

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