Fishing Report

The Gilmer Free Press

Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304.525.4831 and go to  for information and current lake levels.  Bass are being caught using soft plastics and crankbaits.  Bass are also hitting topwater baits.

Fishing on the lake is good as some fish are still on the spawning beds.  Anglers should try their luck around any downed trees or weed beds using worms, small minnows or jigs for sunfish.  Bass anglers should concentrate their efforts along areas with good structure such as downed timber, rocky drops, or weed beds.  Topwater baits such as rapalas, tiny torpedoes, and sluggoes are excellent choices.  Because some bass and sunfish are still in spawning mode, anglers may expect somewhat higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegill can provide anglers with some fast action.  Best baits are worms and small jigs.  Anglers can have a blast fishing for the sunfish.  Channel catfish are also hitting in the lake primarily at night on chicken livers and worms.  Carp and channel catfish are hitting in the tailwaters with best baits being corn, and nightcrawlers, respectively.  Occasionally anglers have been catching some other species such as smallmouth bass and hybrid stripers in the tailwaters on jigs and minnows.

The lake is at summer pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout April 22.  For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.853.2398 and go to

For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304.849.9861 and go to Bass are being caught using soft plastics and crankbaits.  Bass are also hitting topwater baits.  Some anglers are having success trolling for muskies.

Some spotted bass should be hitting.  The bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try.  Good baits are plastic jigs in black and chartreuse colors or live shad.  However, with some bass still on the spawn, anglers may experience higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegills are providing consistent action in the standing timber.  Best baits are worms and small jigs, respectively.  Hybrid striper and channel catfish fishing is good off of shallow points at night.  Best baits are chicken liver and softshell crayfish.  Anglers should concentrate their efforts early and late during periods of extreme heat.  Carp are also providing a lot of fun for night anglers.  Best baits are corn and dough balls.  Some trout are still being creeled in the tailwaters also.

The lake is at normal pool.  Bass are in about 5-10 feet of water and the bite is on.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  A few walleye have also been in about 10-15 feet of water.

The lake is at summer pool.  Bass are in about 5-10 feet of water and the bite is be on.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.269.7463.

The lake is at summer pool.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water and the bite is on.  Walleye are being caught off rocky points in about 10-15 feet of water.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304.872.3412 and go to

The lake is two feet below summer pool.  Bass are in about 5-10 feet of water and the bite is on.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.765.2705 and go to

The lake is just under summer pool and falling.  Water clarity is clear.  Crappie, smallmouth bass and walleye are being caught.  Fish will be concentrated around the fish attractors near the marina, West Hill Cove and Wildcat.

Outflow in the tailwater is about 400 cfs and is very fishable.  Walleye fishing is best at flows above 1,500 cfs and trout fishing below 1,500 cfs. Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304.265.5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.

OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters)
The river is currently at a very fishable level and water temperature is above 70°F.  Some smallmouth bass were being caught within a mile of the tailwaters.  Bass can also being caught around the mouths of tributaries, especially Fishing, Fish, Wheeling and Buffalo creeks.  Walleye and sauger will be attracted to the currents at lock and dam tailwaters.  A good area for bank fishermen is the calm water at the approach to the locks.  Fishing boats are not allowed in this area because of the danger from barges.  Hybrid striped bass will also move in and out of the tailwaters and tributary mouths, and can be caught using large crank baits.  White bass will be moving into tributary mouths.

Water temperature is around 70°F and has risen nearly 5°F in the past few days.  This increasing water temperature will be good for fishing.  Sauger and walleye are always attracted to the currents in the tailwaters of the locks and dams.  Morgantown tailwater is the easiest for bank fisherman to access, but the Hildebrand and Opekiska tailwaters can also be fished.  Warm water discharges at the Rivesville and Morgantown power plants will also attract fish all spring.  A pier at the Morgantown plant makes fishing safe and convenient.

Water levels do not fluctuate drastically at Cheat Lake since it is not a flood control lake.  Therefore, fishing is not significantly affected by high water conditions.  The two embayments by the Cheat Lake Park are good areas to fish for crappie and largemouth bass.  The summer pool level started May 1 and the lake will only fluctuate two-feet until November 1.  The winter ramp at Cheat Lake Park is closed and the Sunset Beach ramp is in service.  The Cheat Lake Park is a convenient place for shoreline anglers.


South Branch and Cacapon Rivers
Water levels in most streams throughout the area are still below normal but have increased over the past week due to localized thunderstorms.  Streams in the Berkeley and Jefferson Counties are high and muddy due to thunderstorms in that area.  The water temperatures have increased to the upper 70’s and lower 80’s at most locations.  Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass and the bass fishing should keep getting better.  Recent biological surveys showed good numbers of smallmouth bass over 18 inches.  The spring trout stocking season has ended but lots of holdover trout should remain especially in larger streams.

Shenandoah River
Flows in the Shenandoah River are still below normal flow.  Smallmouth bass are biting and fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in eddies is always a good strategy.  Some anglers have done well fishing for channel catfish at dark near the head of the pools.

North Branch River
Flows in the North Branch are currently near 225 cfs and in great fishing condition.  No additional whitewater events are scheduled on the North Branch for this spring.  Check the Corp of Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes.

Small Impoundments
Most small impoundments are in great fishing condition and spring trout stockings have ended for the season.  Bass and bluegill are biting and bass can be caught on plastics and topwater lures.  Check the 2015 fishing regulations to see if your favorite impoundment is on the trout stocking schedule.

Jennings Randolph Lake
Anglers are catching smallmouth bass at Jennings Randolph Lake.  Smallmouth bass feeding will continue to increase so try on slow moving plastics and crankbaits.  The West Virginia boat launch is free and a $5 per day fee is collected for the Maryland Ramp. Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information 304.355.2890.

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.  Recent biological investigations indicate good bass and walleye populations.

Water levels are normal and milky.  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.  Free fishing weekend is June 13 and 14.  If you have not fished in a few years, make a point to get back out on the water and remember how much fun it is. 

The New and Greenbrier rivers are providing some good fishing for smallmouth bass.  Anglers should try white spinner baits, white plastic grubs, or small rapalas in black and silver or live bait such as minnows.  Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try your luck.  Fishing is still good in all of the small impoundments in southern West Virginia and you should catch some fish and have a great time but as the waters begin to warm, the bite may slow and anglers may want to concentrate on the early and late hours.  Try spots at the end of points, weed beds, or fallen timber.  Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices.  Lakes such as Plum Orchard, Stephens, Horse Creek, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem will all provide good bass fishing.  Channel catfishing is good in areas like Hawks Nest Lake and some of the other small impoundments.  Best time to fish is late night and very early morning with chicken livers or soft shells.  This is a prime time to take a child fishing!  There is no better way to introduce a child or novice to fishing than to take them out for an evening of carp fishing.  Try chumming with creamed corn upstream of where you are fishing and use shredded wheat dough ball or whole kernel corn for bait.  Make sure your rods are anchored down with a rock or a carp may take it!!!  Good spots to catch a carp are Bluestone and R.D. Bailey lakes, New and Kanawha rivers.  Bluegills are spawning all around the state and they make an excellent quarry for a young fisherperson.

Lower Ohio and Kanawha Rivers
Hybrid are biting below locks with walleye still being caught as well.  Catfish are biting with reports of a few large flatheads and blue catfish caught recently.  Live and or cut bait seems to be the best choice.

Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud Rivers
A few reports of very large muskies caught and released from the Elk and Coal rivers using slow moving baits and soft plastics (large tubes).  Fish are also hitting bucktails and other faster moving baits with rising temperature levels.  Water levels and clarity are excellent for the upcoming weekend.

Small Impoundments
Catchable catfish were recently stocked in Coonskin, Laurel Lakes, Barboursville, Chief Logan, and other small impoundments across the state.  Cut bait or any of the varieties of stink baits on the market work well for catfish.  Try fishing on the bottom with a basic river rig or try suspending the bait beneath a bobber, the fish will tell you what they like.  Small impoundments are also good places to try for bass and bluegill, bait or artificials work well.  Take a kid and introduce him or her to fishing.

This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters.  Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching sauger, white bass, hybrid striped bass, 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.  Hybrid striped bass are being caught on the surface, and agitator bobbers, and large surface plugs work well for these top water feeders.  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.

Also along the Ohio River this year, fishing for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass) has been excellent.  Bass anglers are using spinner-baits, rubber worms, jig-and-pig type combos, and shad colored crank baits.  Largemouth are being caught along embayments, and the smallmouth and spots are being taken from the river.

Fishing for largemouth bass in area lakes has been very good.  Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos, and spinner baits are good terminal tackle choices.  As the water warms, surface baits will also be productive.  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 Woodrum, Elk Fork, and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.  Fishing for bluegill in our small lakes is also good this time of year.  Small baits and lures work well for these panfish.

This is also a good time to fish for catfish in area waters.  Most public lakes have good channel catfish populations.  Night crawlers, chicken liver or prepared catfish baits fished along the bottom is always a good method for catfish.  Adult catfish were recently stocked into several area lakes.  These include Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County; Cedar Creek State Park Lake in Gilmer County; Moutwood Lake and Fort Neal Pond in Wood County; North Bend State Park Pond in Ritchie County, Turkey Run Lake in Jackson County, and the Wirt County Pond.  Also, the slowly moving and muddier water that is found in the upper potions of lakes, just after rain events, are great places to find channel catfish.

Larger stream and rivers hold channel catfish, but flathead or mud catfish are also available to catfish anglers.  Tactics used in lakes work well for channels in these streams, but flatheads prefer live bait.  Large minnows that are fished along deeper areas is the trick for these large catfish.

Stream Conditions
NORTHERN Levels Conditions
Ohio River (Wheeling) X     X    
Fish Creek X     X    
Fishing Creek X     X    
Big Sandy (Preston)   X   X    
Monongahela River   X   X    
Black Water Creek   X   X    
Wheeling Creek X     X    
Buffalo Creek X     X    
S. Branch (Potomac) X       X  
S. Branch (Smoke Hole) X     X  
Shenandoah River X     X  
Patterson Creek X     X    
N. Fork S. Branch X     X  
Cacapon River X     X  
Back Creek     X     X
Opequon Creek     X     X
Lost River X     X  
CENTRAL Levels Conditions
Elk (Sutton)   X     X  
Little Kanawha   X     X  
Elk (Clay)   X     X  
West Fork River   X     X  
Gauley River   X     X  
Cranberry River   X     X  
Cherry River   X     X  
Cherry River (N. Fork)   X     X  
Cherry River (S. Fork)   X     X  
Williams River   X     X  
Knapps River   X     X  
Greenbrier (E&W Forks)   X     X  
Little River   X     X  
Shavers Fork   X     X  
Buckhannon River   X     X  
Holly River   X     X  
Elk River (Webster)   X     X  
Elk River (Back Fork)   X     X  
SOUTHERN Levels Conditions
New River (Hinton) X     X    
Greenbrier (Hinton) X     X    
Greenbrier (Ronceverte) X     X    
Anthony Creek X     X    
Big Creek   X   X    
Meadow River   X   X    
Turkey Creek   X   X    
Potts Creek   X   X    
Second Creek   X   X    
Pinnacle Creek   X     X  
Horse Creek Lake   X     X  
Big Huff Creek   X     X  
Indian Creek   X     X  
Glade Creek (New River)   X     X  
Marsh Fork   X     X  
New River (Gauley)   X     X  
Glade Creek (Man)   X     X  
Camp Creek   X     X  
East River   X     X  
Fork Creek   X     X  
Dry Fork Creek   X     X  
Berwind Lake   X     X  
Little Kanawha River X     X  
Ohio River X     X  
Hughes River X     X  

Gilmer County Parks & Recreation Board Receive a $25,000 Grant for New Nature Trails

The Gilmer County Parks & Recreation Board received a $25,000 grant to construct
two new sustainable nature trails to promote and encourage ecological awareness,
educational opportunities and physical fitness.

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville, WV — The Gilmer County Parks & Recreation Board is one of 52 organizations in eight states to share $1.2 million in support of environmental stewardship initiatives, thanks to Dominion Resources’ competitive program designed to support specific, short-term projects that improve the environment. 

The $25,000 grant awarded to the Gilmer County Parks & Recreation Board will be used to construct walking and nature trails that will connect Recreation Center lands to other public areas.

In addition, the project will include removal of an old trash dump, construction of bridge to cross a stream and construction of a boardwalk that will course along a pond.

The Gilmer Free Press

The funds will also provide for educational materials about water quality, natural pools and the diverse trees and shrubs that can be observed along the trails.

The grants are made available through the Dominion Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. The program has been expanded since it was piloted in Virginia in 2013.

“Expanding the program to include additional communities this year was an exciting prospect,” said Pamela Faggert, chief environmental officer for Dominion. “The response from the nonprofit community was remarkable, and the result is that an even wider variety of programs promoting environmental stewardship received much-needed funding.”

Gilmer county Parks and Recreation Board officials said the park where the improvements will be made are used by many people year-round, especially in the summer season.

“This place is booked all the way up through the middle of August with band camps, 4-H camps, we have the Special Olympics, so we have a lot of different people that utilize this,“ said Rick Sypolt, a member of GCPR board of directors.

The 52 organizations will receive financial support for programs that protect and preserve natural habitats, monitor and enhance water quality, prevent pollution, improve open spaces, make nature accessible and educate the public about environmental stewardship.

Since 2003, the Dominion Foundation has given more than $20 million in support of environmental initiatives.

West Virginia State Parks Celebrate National Trails Day June 06, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia’s state parks extend an invitation to take a hike to help celebrate The American Hiking Society’s annual National Trails Day event. This year the national promotion is set for Saturday, June 06, 2015.

“Public parks, organizations and outdoor enthusiasts recognize walking and hiking as healthy lifestyle activities. In West Virginia, the state park system supports the country’s largest celebration of trails by inviting everyone to come out and walk a trail,“ said Sissie Summers, programming services coordinator. “We will offer several guided walks and hikes, but we’ve discovered there are many visitors who prefer setting their own pace and trail selection, and they are encouraged to participate too.“

Guided hikes have the added benefit of a naturalist or leader knowledgeable about the area, trails and natural aspects of a trail contributing to the hiking experience, according to Summers. “Regardless of whether you join in a planned hike or venture out on your own, this is a good opportunity to take a walk or a hike, preferably at a West Virginia state park.“

Hikers and walkers June 06 are encouraged to keep a mileage log, available online at under “Special Notices.“ Postcard-style log sheets also are available at state park offices or visitor centers June 06. Information is recorded and submitted by the hiker and mailed to the central state park office. A participation certificate and trails patch are mailed to participants after June 30. State parks offering guided hikes on National Trails Day include:

North Bend State Park (Ritchie County) 

Family Trails Weekend, June 05-07. Family Trails Weekend at North Bend State Park in Cairo, WV will feature several outdoor oriented activities throughout the weekend including guided walks, hikes, talks, bike rides, geocaching and environmental education classes. Celebrate National Trails Day Saturday, June 06, with a guided or non-guided hike or walk on one of North Bend’s many well-marked trails. More than 45 miles of trails within the limits of the park offer hikes for all interest and skill levels. For more information on this or any event or for trail maps, resources or questions please call North Bend State Park at 1.800.CALL.WVA, 304.643.2931 or visit  Guide: Ken Zebo, naturalist. 304.643.2931

Cacapon Resort State Park (Morgan County)

Hike Across West Virginia, June 06.  Help celebrate National Trails Day by hiking an 11-mile stretch across the Ridge of Cacapon Mountain. Fairly level hiking and a wonderful view. Meet Naturalist Renee Fincham and summer naturalist Austin Unger at the Nature Center at 8:30 AM to take advantage of this unique experience. Pack water.  Shuttle is provided. Registration is required. 304.258.1022

Chief Logan Lodge (Logan County)

A Saturday Hike, June 06. Meet at the front desk at Chief Logan Lodge at 10 AM and take a guided hike to learn about the wildlife and diversity in the area.  Hikes starting at Chief Logan Lodge are generally scheduled the second Saturday of the month, but June is an exception. It’s National Trails Day! Open to the public. No charge to participate. Weather permitting. Call 304.855.6100 for information.

Blennerhassett Historical State Park (Wood County)

Nature Walk – All About Birds, June 06. Get outside and explore the island. At least 14 species of birds adapted to life along the river. Learn bird characteristics through scavenger-like clues, including the food that birds eat, descriptions of feet, beaks and overall bird shapes. Walk begins at 2 PM and concludes around 3:15 PM There is no. Please ride the 1 PM boat to the island to make sure you get to this great nature walk. Boat tickets are sold at the Blennerhassett Museum, which is located at 137 Juliana Street in downtown Parkersburg. Call 304.420.4800 for information.

Stonewall Resort State Park (Lewis County)

National Trails Day June 06. Stonewall Resort will host the third “Celebration Hike” in recognition of American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day. This hike is non-competitive and open to people of all ages. Participants can walk, run or mountain bike at leisure. Set your own pace and enjoy the excitement June 06 from 8 AM to 12 PM There will be a $20 registration fee which will include an event T-shirt and a donation to the Stonewall State Park Foundation for future trail maintenance. Contact Samantha Norris: 304.269.8820

Pipestem Resort State Park (Summers and Mercer counties)

Bluestone Turnpike Hike June 06. Join a National Park ranger for this 10-mile hike along the Bluestone National Scenic River from the bottom of the tram at Pipestem Resort State Park to Bluestone State Park. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water and a snack. Shuttle will be provided back to Pipestem. For information, contact Rudy Paugh at 304.466.0417 or email .

Twin Falls State Park (Wyoming County)

Bike the Park, June 06. National Trails Day is an invitation to hike at Twin Falls and report mileage to the front desk or to mail a distance log card.  Certificates and patches are mailed to hikers participating in this national day of hiking. Call 304.294.4000 for information.

More National Trails Day hikes may be added before June 06. Visit under “Events Calendar” and watch for announcements on the West Virginia State Parks Facebook and Twitter pages.

West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend

The Gilmer Free Press

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - National Fishing and Boating Week 2015 will be highlighted by the annual Free Fishing Weekend June 13-14, 2015, according to Bob Fala, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). During these two days, residents and nonresidents can fish in West Virginia without a license.

“It is a great opportunity to remind people of the fun of fishing, especially with family and friends. If you already have a license, take someone fishing—it may be your children, spouse or co-worker – and introduce them to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment,” Fala said.

DNR participates in a number of activities during National Fishing and Boating Week and Free Fishing Weekend. One of the largest events is the Bowden Fishing Derby that will be held June 13 at the Bowden Hatchery in Randolph County.  Another long-running event takes place June 13 at Little Beaver State Park near Beckley. Children must register for the events, and they will receive basic fishing instruction and will have the opportunity to enjoy time fishing with friends and family.

More information about fishing in West Virginia is available at and in the 2015 Fishing Regulations brochure available at license agents and online at

National Fishing and Boating Week began as a promotional activity sponsored by the sportfishing industry, encouraging fishing around Father’s Day. The recreational boating industry partnered with its sportfishing counterparts to develop a fishing and boating educational campaign.

From those beginnings, National Fishing and Boating Week has evolved into a very effective private/public partnership. The sportfishing and boating industries, fishing organizations and local, state, and federal agencies work together to promote the message that fishing is great fun and that healthy aquatic ecosystems are important. More information is available at

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