Fishing Virginia: Urban fisheries programs provide quality angling close to Roanoke and Salem

Roanoke Valley News

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — The sport of fishing has a $1.3 billion impact on Virginia’s economy every year. That is according to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). The DWR also reports more than 800,000 people buy fishing licenses in the Commonwealth annually.

That is a lot of fish, and a lot of people targeting them.

So, with numbers like those, it should come as no surprise that Virginia is home to some prime fishing destinations. You might think that planning a trip would require a journey high up into the mountains or to some desolate stretch of ocean beach. But, thanks to a concerted effort by the state, quality fishing is usually only minutes away from the most populated areas of Virginia.

Two such locations are Tinker Creek and the Roanoke River. Both are stocked with trout through the DWR’s Trout Management Program. Both are designated urban waterways that receive special stockings to provide quality fishing opportunities to the people who live nearby.

“We try to work hard to provide opportunities in urban metro areas,” said DWR Aquatic Education Coordinator Alex McCrickard. “We want people to be able to get out and fish locally.”

Drews Agee of Roanoke with a seven pound rainbow trout

Streams must meet certain qualifications for the program. According to DWR Regional Aquatics Manager, Steve Reeser, the Roanoke River, where it runs through Salem and Roanoke, is just about perfect.

“It’s a large stream, which is great. The angler access is great. It’s in an urban area, and that’s something we’re interested in more, really. Bringing these types of resources to urban areas where there’s more of a population center, and we get that here in Salem and Roanoke.”

Tinker Creek and the Roanoke River will receive multiple trout stockings through June, as will other streams and lakes in our region. To find out more about the trout program, as well as to see a schedule of trout stockings around the state, you can go to the DWR website.

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