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West Virginia Stream Conditions

Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon

April 23, 2014 

FISHING

BEECH FORK – Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304-525-4831 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/bbfns.htm for information and current lake levels.  The lake is currently at summer pool.  With temperatures heating up fish are starting to actively feed.  Try for crappie with jigs and minnows around standing timber or DNR installed fish attractors, several good catches have been reported at the marina.  Bass are starting to move up to 4 to 8 feet of water with some starting to stake out pre-spawn territory.  Channel Catfish will also be starting to feed at this time and can be caught on a variety of baits.  White Bass and Hybrid can be caught with shad imitating lures fished near the surface.  Some walleye and sauger have been reported from the tailwater area as well as stocked trout.

BLUESTONE – Spring is here and fish are preparing to spawn as the water warms.  Crappie have shown up on brush piles, flooded timber or downed trees where they will spawn.  They are hitting small minnows and doll flies.  Bass may be caught off rocky points and around downed trees using live bait and artificials such as spinnerbaits and plastic worms.  Anglers should look for points that have some cover such as stumps, logs, or weed beds.  Try slow rolling a spinnerbait, bumping off the stumps.  Some hybrid striped bass may be caught using large minnows.  Anglers should try spots such as the mouth of Indian Creek or up the Bluestone Arm as these fish, even though mostly infertile, still make spawning runs upstream.  Smallmouth bass are being caught in the tailwaters.  Successful anglers are using tube jigs in pumpkinseed or motor oil colors.  Anglers should be careful wading and wear personal flotation devices.

BURNSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool and clear.  The surface temperatures are slowly warming and in the 50’s.  Bass are becoming more active and moving up to feed.  Crappie and bluegill are also beginning to feed actively.  We have received reports of Musky being caught in the upper end of lake.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on April 16.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-853-2398 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/busns.htm

EAST LYNN For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/eltns.htm .  The lake is at Summer Pool and the surface temperature is in the high 50’s to mid 60’s.  Try for crappie with jigs and minnows around standing timber or DNR installed fish attractors.  Bass are starting to move up to 4 to 8 feet of water with some starting to stake out pre-spawn territory.  Channel and Flathead Catfish will also be starting to feed at this time and can be caught on a variety of baits.  Try trolling for Walleye in the main lake or with crankbaits in the tailwaters.  Musky may be moving upstream into the arms of the lake for their spawning runs.  Trout are in the tailwater and will be stocked monthly ending in May.

R.D. BAILEY – With the waters beginning to warm up, fish are becoming more active as they feed in preparation for the upcoming spawning.  Crappie are congregating in deep water near drop offs in the vicinity of the habitats where they spawn such as around standing timber and brush piles and they will hit small minnows.  For artificial bait, use doll flies in white and yellow.  Spotted bass are hitting plastic jigs in crawfish colors.  The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with points with downed trees another good spot to try.  Hybrid striped bass will be making spawning runs up stream in April and May so anglers may want to concentrate their efforts in the upper part of the lake.  The trout stocked in the tailwaters are providing good fishing.  Best baits are corn, salmon eggs, and small jigs.

STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at normal pool.  The surface temperatures are slowly warming and in the 50’s.  Bass are becoming more active and moving up to feed.  Crappie and bluegill are also beginning to feed actively.

STONEWALL JACKSON – The lake is at summer pool.  The surface temperatures are slowly warming and in the 50’s.  Bass are becoming more active and moving up to feed.  Crappie and bluegill are also beginning to feed after a long winter.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on April 16.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.

SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool.  The surface temperatures are slowly warming and in the 50’s.  Bass are becoming more active and moving up to feed.  Crappie and bluegill are also beginning to feed after a long winter.  Lots of walleye have moved to upper end of lake.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on April 11.  Flows have been high in the tailwaters.  For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304-872-3412 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/sugns.htm .

SUTTON – The lake is at summer pool.  The surface temperatures are slowly warming and in the 50’s.  Bass are becoming more active and moving up to feed.  Crappie and bluegill are also beginning to feed after a long winter.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on April 16.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-765-2705 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm .

TYGART LAKE – The lake is at the summer level. Water temperatures are now rising and fishing should improve significantly.  Coves will be warmer than the main lake which will be good for bass, crappies and sunfish.  Walleye can be at any depth in the lake but will move into shallow water to feed at dusk.  White bass also move to the head of the lake at this time of year.

Lots of walleye have moved through the dam to the tailwater and fishing will be good for the next few months.  Trout have also been stocked.  Walleye fishing is best during higher flows (1,500 to 5,000 cubic feet per second) and trout fishing is best at low flows (less than 1,000 cubic feet per second).  Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304-265-5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.

NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA  

OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters) – Some sauger and walleye have moved into the creek mouths and the dam tailwaters.  An increase in flows or a few degrees water temperature rise will cause more fish to move into the tailwaters.  The best time to fish is one or two hours at dusk.  Jigs with minnows are always good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs will also be productive.  Other good spots at this time of year are the mouths of tributaries, and at heated discharges at power plants.  Hybrid striped bass will congregate in these areas.

MONONGAHELA RIVER – Water temperatures are now rising and fishing should improve significantly.  The temperature is about 60 degrees.  Some sauger and walleye have moved into the creek mouths and dam tailwaters.  The best time to fish is one or two hours at dusk.  They will also concentrate at the mouths of larger tributaries like Buffalo, Paw Paw, and Pricketts creeks.  Jigs with minnows are always good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs will also be productive.  Muskies can be caught by trolling large crank baits along the shoreline throughout the river or casting from shore in the Morgantown area.  Large muskies are common along the shoreline at this time of year.

CHEAT LAKE – The winter boat ramp at the Cheat Lake Park is open until May 1.  Water levels can now fluctuate only 7 feet until May 1.  The Sunset Beach ramp is usable at an elevation of 866 feet.  Walleye and yellow perch are finished spawning.  Radio telemetry tracking of walleye shows they are concentrated in the lake upstream of Sunset Beach and move up the lake during high flows.  Canoeists can launch at the Ices Ferry Bridge Public Access Site and fish for yellow perch around the bridges and pumpkinseed sunfish along the opposite shore.

EASTERN PANHANDLE

South Branch and Cacapon Rivers - Streams and rivers throughout the eastern panhandle are currently near normal or slightly below normal flow and the water is clear.  Water temperatures at most locations are reaching near 60 during the day and the fish are biting.  This is a great time to catch big smallmouth bass.  Biological surveys have indicated lots of citation sized smallmouth bass in the South Branch.  Spring trout stocking season is underway and many streams are receiving weekly trout stockings.  Check the 2014 fishing regulations to see if your favorite stream is on the list and get daily stocking information on the web at www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm .  

Shenandoah River - Flows in the Shenandoah River are near normal flow and in great fishing condition.  Fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in the eddy’s is always a good strategy.

North Branch River - Flows in the North Branch are currently near 250 cfs and projected to remain at that level for several more days.  This is a great flow for wade fishing and lots of trout are being caught.  The next white whitewater event on the North Branch is scheduled for the weekend of Saturday, May 3 through Sunday, May 4.  Check the Corp or Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes.  Flows in the North Branch can be monitored by watching the USGS stream gages or the Jennings Randolph website (http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html).

Small Impoundments Small impoundments are in great fishing condition.  Bass and bluegill are now biting and some small impoundments have received trout stockings.  Check the 2014 fishing regulations to determine if your favorite water is scheduled to receive trout stocking.

Jennings Randolph Lake - Jennings Randolph Lake is currently about one foot below conservation pool and dropping slowly.  Smallmouth bass fishing has been slow but will be increasing as the water temperature rise.  Anglers have been successful catching trout throughout the lake.  The WV ramp is now open for the season and launching fees are no longer charged for the WV Ramp.  A $5 per day fee is still being collected for the Maryland Ramp.  Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information (304) 355-2890.  Recreational information can also be found at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/DamsRecreation/JenningsRandolphLake.aspx

Mt. Storm Lake - Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass and walleye.  Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.  Anglers have been reporting good catches of striped bass. 

CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Water levels are normal and clear.  If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish.  Don’t forget to buy your 2014 fishing license.  Trout stocking is in full swingand all stockings missed because of weather will be made up.  The Williams River, Shavers Fork, Glady and Watoga Lake to name a few.  Check the DNR webpage for statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information, www.wvdnr.gov.

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

Trout stockings are in full swing and anglers should find plenty of waters stocked with trout and plenty of fish to catch.  Anglers should check the fishing regulations to see which waters will be stocked.  For a more up-to-date list, please call the hotline at 558-3399 or check online at www.wvdnr.gov.  The New and Greenbrier rivers are in great shape and anglers may catch some smallmouth bass using tube jigs or spinnerbaits.  Best spots are just below a shoal or rapid or in any eddy.  Anglers may also want to try their luck at Kanawha Falls for musky or hybrid stripers (use big chubs and large white jigs for bait) or lake anglers can find some excellent bass and bluegill fishing at Plum Orchard Lake and Pipestem Lake.  Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom; spinnerbaits are also good choices for the bass while the bluegill will take small jigs, red worms, or other small live baits.

SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers No current fishing reports.

Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers A few reports from hardy anglers targeting muskies, but no other fish reports.  Slow moving large soft plastics and glide baits are producing.

Small Impoundments –Trout stocking for 2014 has begun check the hotline (304-558-3399) or check online to see if your favorite waters have been stocked.  Paste type baits, salmon eggs in varying colors, and live bait have all been producing for early season trout anglers.  Be very careful around water at this time of the year.  Hypothermia is a serious threat and should not be taken lightly.  Be safe and have fun!  

Reservoirs – Check the USACOE website (http://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/) and the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for reservoir and tailrace conditions. 

Rivers and Streams Check the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for river/stream conditions and check local landings visually before wasting a trip.

WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Trout have been stocked into several lakes throughout the area.  These include Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County, Mountwood Park Lake in Wood County, Rollins Lake and Turkey Run Lake in Jackson County, Mile Tree Lake in Roane County, Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County, and Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County.  Check the Daily Trout Stocking report for the latest at (304) 558-3399 or on the web at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm.  This information is updated daily at 4:00 pm, January through May.  Trout anglers can use a variety of baits including small worms, mealworms, salmon eggs, cheese, or trout power bait.  Small spinners, joe type flies, and trout magnets also work well, for anglers casting the shoreline or fishing from boats.  Trolling these small lures is also affective. 

This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters.  Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching sauger, walleye, and a few other species.  Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice.  Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows.  Fishing for white bass can be quite good this time of year and medium-sized white spinners work well.  Crappie can also be found in Ohio River tailwaters.  These fish are generally suspended and jigs should be counted-down to find the correct depth to fish.  Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual.  Fishing along the Willow Island tailwaters is restricted due to hydro-power development.  Anglers now have access only to a point approximately 150 yards below the dam, and flows have changed significantly.

Fishing for largemouth bass and crappie in area lakes has been very good.  Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos, and spinner baits are good terminal tackle choices for bass.  Crappie anglers use small jigs or minnows fished in areas of good cover.  Area lakes with good angling opportunities include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler County, Charles Fork in Roane County, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork, Woodrum, O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.

Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend, and muskies are quite active.  Hot spots this time of year include areas both upstream and downstream of fast moving water.  Musky anglers should try medium to large lures.  Middle Island Creek, the major streams in the Hughes River system, and the Little Kanawha River are good area musky waters.  Those interested in trying their luck with muskies in a lake should try North Bend Lake.


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