High School Football
Sportsline with Tony Caridi  Watch |  Listen
7:06pm: High School Sportsline

Longtime private trout stream to become DNR property

Rules imposed by former property owner Jerry Burke will be maintained under DNR jurisdiction, although the stream will now be open to the public

DORCAS, W.Va. — A fertile trout stream in Grant County, maintained as a private fishery for many years, will soon be open to the public.  The Division of Natural Resources announced at the recent meeting of the Natural Resources Commission plans to purchase a 140 acre tract of land which includes a little more than a mile of stream along Spring Run near the community of Dorcas.

“For probably more than 40 or 50 years it’s been managed as a fly fishing only, catch and release stream,” said Brett Preston, Assistant Chief of Fisheries for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “We thought it was important to continue that management as we acquire the property.”

Property owner Jerry Burke was adamant about maintaining the integrity of the stream and required strict adherence to his rules over five decades.  Since the property has been private, it’s not presently on the DNR’s trout stocking list.  It was stocked many, many years ago, however it’s unlikely it will be added to the state’s stocking list anytime soon because according to Preston the stream is naturally productive.

“It has maintained itself as a reproducing wild rainbow trout fishery,” Preston said. “But recently some of the surveys have indicated wild brook trout numbers are increasing in Spring Run as well.  We’re pretty excited about the opportunity.”

Fly fishermen are equally excited.   The agency has no plans to change anything other than access.  Under Burke’s jurisdiction, fishing was allowed with permission, but that will no longer be the case as the state buys the land and opens it to the general public.  However, it will still be maintained as catch and release and fly fishing only.

The section being purchased is the middle section between the Spring Run Trout Hatchery and the main road along Spring Run.  It’s surrounded by private land on either end.

More Outdoors

U.S. House approves bill to restore hunting safety and archery to school curriculums
Legislation advances to address what many have called an "overreach" by the U.S. Department of Education which would disallow educational funds from being used in the area of hunter education, archery, or shooting sports activities in public schools.
September 27, 2023 - 1:56 pm
W.Va. Wildlife Center celebrates a century
It started as the West Virginia Game Farm in 1923, which was a failure--but it was a hit for those wanting to see West Virginia wildlife up close, so it became the West Virginia Wildlife Center
September 15, 2023 - 11:24 am
Volunteers continue to pull hundreds of tires from the Tug Fork River
The ongoing cleanup has now removed more than 10,000 tires from the waterway which serves as the border between West Virginia and Kentucky
September 9, 2023 - 12:07 pm
Popular elk tours start this weekend in southern W.Va.
Tours of Tomblin WMA are a fun way to see a West Virginia elk and learn about the program which brought them back to the Mountain State.
September 6, 2023 - 1:27 pm