West Virginia Fishing Regulations

West Virginia Fishing Regulations
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources manages the fisheries within the state. The regulations that anglers must abide by include those for licenses, methods of fishing and limits on different species.


Residents and nonresidents of West Virginia between the ages of 16 and 64 must have a fishing license. Various classes of licenses are available, including one that, once purchased, covers an angler for the rest of his life.

Point system

West Virginia has a system that gives anglers points for different fishing violations. An angler who accumulates more than 10 points will lose her license for a two-year span.


Creel and minimum size limits are set for all game fish species in West Virginia. For instance, an angler may keep no more than four northern pike per day, and the fish cannot be less than 28 inches long.

Catch and release

There are certain bodies of water in West Virginia where an angler must practice catch-and-release fishing for species, including walleye, trout, bass and muskellunge.


Fishing with a trotline is legal in West Virginia as long as the line has an easily read identification tag that is waterproof and the individual checks the line every day.

Bow fishing

West Virginia allows bow fishing for carp year-round and lets anglers use a bow and arrow for other fish deemed as nongame species every month, with the exception of May and June.

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