Sandstone Falls along the New River
New River Gateway

The New River Gorge National River in West Virginia will receive a grant to bolster a partnership aimed at getting local residents involved in recreational activities. 

Casting a line won't cost anything in West Virginia this weekend.

The state Division of Natural Resources is holding its annual free fishing weekend for both residents and nonresidents. It's part of National Fishing and Boating Week.


In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, W.Va., in the 1940s. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

The West Virginia House has voted to make it a crime to waste game by leaving carcasses or just taking trophies such as heads, claws or feathers.

The bill, passed 56-39 on Monday, would set fines ranging from $500 to $2,500 for big game, meaning deer, bear, boars and turkeys. Hunting and fishing licenses would be suspended for five years.

USDA/ Daniel Boone National Forest

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. Like the Village of Lilly, where back in the 1940s, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, West Virginia. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 

Inside Appalachia Host Jessica Lilly has deep roots to this community, as we hear in this episode. 

Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

West Virginia wildlife officials say an online interactive map with information about hunting and fishing around the state has been updated.

Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel says the map at can be useful for hikers and boaters as well.

Golden Rainbow Trout, Trout
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Some lakes and streams in West Virginia will receive special stockings of golden rainbow trout next year.

The Division of Natural Resources says the releases will be held in early April to lead off the spring trout stocking season.

boating, fishing
Gentry George / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

West Virginia residents can now buy five-day fishing licenses.

Division of Natural Resources Director Bob Fala says the new license is intended to allow fishing opportunities for residents who may be on vacation, are fishing for the first time or are returning to the sport.

Authorities say the body of a fisherman has been recovered in the New River.

The New River Gorge National River says in a news release that crews found the body of 51-year old Joe Bennett of Mabscott on Saturday.

The release says Bennett's boat capsized on Thursday. He had been fishing with a friend when swift currents capsized the boat near a campground. Bennett was not wearing a flotation vest and disappeared under the surface. His companion made it to shore, and search crews found the boat about 150 miles downriver from where it sank.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A small conference center and campground in Jackson County has stirred up plenty of controversy at the statehouse over the past few years.

Members of the West Virginia Board of Education want to get rid of their authority of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center, but state officials aren’t willing to pay the cost to let it go.

This year, lawmakers believe they’ve found a compromise that let’s the board off the hook while keeping Cedar Lakes open for the thousands of kids who attend camps there each year.

Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

  West Virginia residents will have an opportunity this month to review and comment on the state's proposed new hunting, trapping and fishing regulations.

The Division of Natural Resources has scheduled 12 public meetings across the state on the regulations. They include 2015 regulations for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bear and boar, proposed 2016-2017 general hunting and trapping regulations and proposed 2016 fishing regulations.


Senator Joe Manchin has appointed the former state director of the division of natural resources to a new, elevated post. 

Manchin named West Virginia's former director of the Division of Natural Resources Frank Jezioro the senator's new liaison to sportsmen and natural resources. Manchin was recently tapped to serve as co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and will hold a position on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in the new Congress.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has been named co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

The Democrat says the agenda of the Sportsmen's Caucus is to protect the rights of hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts and to conserve land for recreational use. Manchin says he's an "avid sportsman" who understands the importance of the nation's hunting and fishing heritage.

Manchin will chair the caucus with Sen. James Risch, an Indiana Republican.

What The Heck is the Tandanus Tropicanus?

Jun 20, 2014
West Virginia University

It’s called the Tandanus Tropicanus. It’s a fish, a very interesting type of catfish-, discovered in a northeastern part of Australia that’s largely been ignored by aquatic life researchers. WVU Professor Stuart Welsh made the discovery on an expedition in that part of the world back in 2010, and again in 2012. And yes, you can call it a fishing expedition.

"I think it’s a very interesting experience to describe a new species, and a very rewarding experience. Biodiversity is one thing that a lot of people are interested in," said Welsh.

Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

  The Division of Natural Resources is shedding paper and moving to an electronic licensing system for hunters and anglers.

The change will be ushered in Jan. 1, according to The Daily Mail.

The division's chief of wildlife resources, Curtis Taylor, says West Virginia is one of a handful of states that still use paper forms. He says the division has a tough time finding a vendor who makes the forms.

Austin Hoffman recently caught a 47.75-inch, 52.95-pound blue catfish—beating the previous state record of 43.9 inches and 44.5 pounds.

DNR Officials Continue to Study Fatal Fish Disease

Apr 18, 2014
Wikipedia Image

Columnaris Disease. It’s an illness affecting aquatic life in West Virginia. While it can be fatal, Division of Natural Resources officials are trying to stop it from spreading to more waters in the state.

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

In a rare occurrence at the statehouse, Senators debated three possible Constitutional Amendments on the floor, changes that will ultimately be sent to the people for their approval.     

Senate Joint Resolution 10 proposes a Constitutional Amendment designating the right to hunt and fish for West Virginians.

Sen. Corey Palumbo amended the resolution on the floor Wednesday, clarifying that the people of West Virginia have the right to hunt and fish the state’s game, but the state still maintains the ability to regulate those activities.

Government shutdown affects....bass fishing?

Oct 4, 2013
Ben Adducchio

With a shutdown in the United States government, nearly one million employees are not able to work. But in northern West Virginia, area fishermen and women are also feeling that pinch.

Ben Adducchio

Next weekend, a bass fishing tournament is coming to north central West Virginia. Due to lock opening changes, organizers are concerned this might be the last one in the area.

With cutbacks at the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Corps decided to close down two locks near Morgantown.

Those locks will be open for a special bass fishing tournament next weekend.