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March is the month for transition

March 9, 2013
By Kenneth Cobb , The Inter-Mountain

For people who enjoy being outdoors, March is the month to get rid of that "cabin fever" and start living outdoors again. While I cannot deny this March has come in "like a lion", the Elkins area did not get all of that heavy snow that was forecasted for this past week. The high for this weekend could possibly be in the middle- to high-50s with some clear skies.

This is the time for all you anglers to grab your favorite rod and reel and head for your favorite lake or stream. Last month, I reported that the West Virginia Division of National Resources had stocked some nice-sized trout in the Bowden area on Shavers Fork. Right now, just about any place along the segment of that stream would be a good location to catch your limit.

Spring will officially be here in less than two weeks, and daylight savings time kicks in on Sunday.

Despite what some people may think, West Virginia is indeed fortunate to have year-round trout fishing. I realize many of you anglers who may be my age, give or take a few years, will remember when the state had an opening day for trout season. Many of you senior anglers say that entire day was just a lot of bedlam.

Yet, each year I still hear a few dissatisfied anglers wanting the DNR to establish an opening day for catching trout. They often say, "it would give us all something to look forward to." To implement such an idea would be a giant step in the wrong direction.

I have said several times in the past this state has one of the best trout stocking programs of any in the entire nation. It's like this, when you have a system that works, you don't fix it.

With our year-round trout season, anyone can pick a nice day and have a great time fishing in one of the many lakes or streams in this area. At the same time, they don't have to worry about competing with large crowds.

It is usually in late April or early May when I talk to anglers from other states. Many of them are quick to say our trout program is superior to the same or similar trout programs they have in the state where they are from.

This includes our neighboring states like Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. A recent stream survey turned up that many people are coming to West Virginia to sample our trout fishing from as many as 10 states.

This state has streams with varied regulations. In many of the streams, you are permitted to keep a limit of trout every day you fish. We also have catch-and-release streams, commonly called fish-for-fun area. There are even delayed harvest areas where an angler can keep the fish once the water warms to a temperature where the trout may not survive.

It does not matter whether you are a fly fisherman, a spinner fisherman, a cheese egg dunker, or a drowned worm angler, West Virginia's lakes and streams offer outstanding year-round trout fishing.

To go back to an opening day for trout fishing would only be courting disaster. The days of anglers lined-up elbow to elbow along the streams or the edges of any stocked lake are a page out of the past.

The trout stocking season started the first week of January and runs through May 31. In the fall, there are two weeks of trout stocking in October.

To learn more about the state's various fishing programs, consult the 2013 fishing regulations; or visit the DNR website at to find out about the stocking schedule and daily stocking information.



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