WV Wildlife: Inaugural 'Gold Rush' begins next week

A WVDNR hatchery technician stocks a large golden rainbow trout into the South Branch of the Potomac River in Pendleton County. (WCHS/WVAH)

If you're like me and have never caught one, this is your chance!

This upcoming week, April 2nd through April 6th, our WVDNR will be stocking lakes and streams across the state with A LOT of Golden Rainbow Trout--during the first annual 'Gold Rush'.

Jim Hedrick, Hatchery Program Manager with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, says the hope is to see some anglers--both beginning and experienced--reel some ‘Goldies’ in.

"Just a stocking of all golden trout, and the purpose of that is, we've had a lot kids and for that matter, adult anglers--some of them have fished a lot of years and have never been able to catch a golden trout--and this will give them the opportunity to do that", said Hedrick.

The Goldie is a West Virginia thing, too. It was discovered and 'produced' right here in the Mountain State.

"That's the kind of unique thing about it--is that it was developed in West Virginia. So, we had a Centennial Golden Trout Celebration when it was first stocked, and we've been stocking it ever since", said Hedrick.

They are a prize catch for anglers--not only due to their striking beauty, but how difficult they can be to catch. They simply appear to be more skittish than their rainbow trout siblings.

Excitement is already building for this event; the DNR did a Facebook Live earlier this week about the stockings, and how you can win a prize if you're lucky enough to catch a tagged goldie. Hedrick explains.

"If you catch a golden trout with a tag--we have some special Gold Rush tee-shirts, and they're in limited supply. Mail in the tag, and we need your name, address and of course, your shirt size--and we'll ship you a tee-shirt.

For more information on these stockings--such as locations that will be stocked and what is required to fish this event--you can visit our West Virginia DNR's website at WVDNR.GOV, or WVGOLDRUSH.COM.

"Get kids out and to get families out, and have them make kind of a family fishing day--and to keep people interested in fishing as it's a rich heritage in West Virginia. We want to keep people participating in that and enjoying family time together", said Hedrick.

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