Gilmer Free Press

“Noodling,” or hand-fishing season opens June 15

The Free Press WV

A law passed during the 2018 legislative session will soon allow West Virginia anglers to hand-fish, or “noodle,” in public waters. The annual season will run from June 15 to August 31.

Hand-fishing is permitted between sunrise and sunset.

However, it is prohibited in all state-managed impoundments except Stonecoal Lake, Hawks Nest Lake, Mount Storm Lake, Cheat Lake and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes.

The daily creel limit for all catfish species taken by hand-fishing is four. Only one fish may be over 35 inches, and only two may be blue catfish.

In waters with special regulations, the more restrictive regulations apply.

The daily creel limit for hand-fishing counts as part of any daily limit for hook-and-line fishing.

“Noodlers” may only hand-fish in naturally-occurring habitats such as hollow logs and cavities in river banks.

The placement or use of artificial cavities and nesting boxes for hand-fishing is prohibited.

The use or possession of hooks, gaffs, spears or anything other than hands while hand-fishing is prohibited, as is the use of bait or fish attractors.

The use of SCUBA gear or any other artificial breathing apparatus also is prohibited.

--> Friday, June 15, 2018
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