Blue Ridge Parkway
Along much of its route, the Parkway hugs the crest of the world’s oldest mountains. The National Park Service protects over 100 miles of streams, many of them small, spring-fed watercourses that rise along the spine of the Blue Ridge. There are also 13 lakes (including Abbott Lake at the Peaks of Otter) enhancing the natural beauty of the scenic drive and abounding with native and stocked fish in a mountain environment.
Licenses & Regulations: Fishing is permitted in all Parkway waters with a valid state fishing license from Virginia or North Carolina. No special trout stamp is needed and persons under 16 can fish without a license. Fishing is not permitted from footbridges, dams or adjacent walls. Some waters may have individual regulations and those will be clearly marked. Fishing is allowed from one half hour before sunset to one half hour after sunset. Digging for bait on parkway land is not allowed. Many streams meander onto U.S. Forest Service or private land and regulations may vary as the jurisdiction changes.
Fish Species: Most of the lakes on the Parkway support warm water species such as bass, bream or bluegill. In Parkway streams, a variety of trout may be found.
Brown Trout have been stocked in the Eastern streams since the late 19th century.
Rainbow Trout have been stocked in Eastern streams as sport fish. These beautiful fish with the pink strip down the side are originally native to the Western United States.
Brook Trout are the only native trout in the southern Appalachians. This small fish with beautiful orange and red markings has survived many changes in its habitat during the centuries that humans have occupied the Blue Ridge. Catching a “Brookie” is an experience that most anglers carry with them for a lifetime.
ABBOTT LAKE AT THE PEAKS OF OTTER
Catfish, smallmouth bass, golden shiners, sunfish and blue gill are yours for the catching at Abbott Lake located at the Peaks of Otter. A Virginia fishing license or short-term permit is required. Short-term Virginia fishing licenses can be purchased at the Peaks of Otter Lodge. Artificial lures are required in Abbott Lake.
Visit the Bedford Welcome Center for your complimentary copy of the Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations or contact the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 1132 Thomas Jefferson Road in Forest, 434-525-7522 or online at www.dgif.state.va.us.
THE JAMES RIVER AND GEORGE WASHINGTON AND JEFFERSON NATIONAL FORESTS STREAMS
Species present: Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Redbreast Sunfish, Muskellunge, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish
Seasons: All Year
Access: There are numerous access points developed and managed by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Visit www.dgif.state.va.us for more information. Both primitive and developed camping are available.
Visit the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/main/gwj/home
Learn about other places to cast:
- Alleghany County
- Bath County
- Bedford County
- Botetourt County
- Buchanan County
- Campbell County
- Craig County
- Dickenson County
- Franklin County
- Halifax County
- Highland County
- Lexington - Rockbridge County
- Martinsville - Henry County
- Mecklenburg County
- Montgomery County
- Nelson County
- Patrick County
- Pulaski County
- Shenandoah County
- Smyth County
- Washington County
- Wise County
- Wythe County