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WV Gold Rush makes its return

April 1, 2019

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Gold Rush, a special stocking of golden rainbow trout, is returning — even bigger — from April 1-6 in more than 55 waters across the state, Gov. Jim Justice announced.

During the week of the event, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will stock only golden rainbow trout in designated lakes and streams. The first Gold Rush took place in 2018 and was so successful that the state is repeating and expanding it by stocking about 40,000 golden rainbows this year, up from 35,000 last year.

“I hope as many West Virginians as possible take advantage of Gold Rush this year,” Justice said in a news release. “Fishing is a wonderful tradition in our state. I have so many great memories of times I went fishing with my dad, and I want all West Virginians to have the opportunity to make the same great memories with their families.”

Locally, the golden rainbow trout will be stocked in Barboursville Lake and Chief Logan State Park ponds. A complete list of stocking locations, including some at state parks, is at www.wvgoldrush.com.

All anglers age 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license with a current trout stamp and a valid form of identification while fishing. A West Virginia fishing license can be purchased at approximately 180 retail agents around the state or online at wvfish.com.

To ensure families have plenty of opportunity to participate, whether at the start or end of the week, DNR will conduct a big release on Saturday, April 6 - the last day of the event. Anyone who catches a golden rainbow at a state park is eligible to receive a West Virginia Gold Rush Golden Rainbow Trout Certificate.

“The 2018 Gold Rush was an exciting event that brought hundreds of new, active and reactivated anglers back to our lakes and streams,” DNR Director Stephen McDaniel said in the release. “Thanks to the efforts of our trout hatcheries staff, we will be able to do it again with more trout, more locations and more chances to strike gold.”

All anglers must follow West Virginia’s fishing regulations, which can be found online at wvdnr.gov.

“The vision behind the West Virginia Gold Rush is to get people, especially children and new anglers, excited about trout fishing in West Virginia by giving them a great opportunity to catch this popular fish,” said Jim Hedrick, hatchery program manager, in the release. “We will again be tagging some of the goldens so those who are lucky enough to catch one can turn in the tag for a West Virginia Gold Rush T-shirt.”

Introduced to the public in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration, the golden rainbow trout is prized by anglers young and old for its unmistakable, bright-yellow color. For more than 50 years, golden rainbows have provided a special experience for anglers who have been lucky enough to catch them.

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