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Fishing from 1,425 through 4,863 feet above Sea-level

Whether you are an avid trout angler in pursuit of those colorful and elusive native brookies, the weekend angler seeking a high quality fishing experience, or a visitor just traveling through the area, the Monongahela National Forest is for you!

With more than 900,000 acres of National Forest System lands that range in elevation between 1,425 feet and 4,863 feet above sea-level, the Monongahela offers a diversity of freshwater fishing experiences for everyone. You will find an assortment of aquatic habitats to explore and enjoy in the hundreds of miles of mountain streams and the more than 250 acres of man-made lakes on the Forest.

Rules and Regulations

All West Virginia Division of Natural Resources regulations govern fishing on the Forest. In addition, WV DNR has some specifically designated restriction areas within the Forest.

Key fishing requirements include:

  • West Virginia state fishing and conversation stamps are required for fishing on Monongahela National Forest lands.
  • Trout fishing requires an additional National Forest Trout Stamp. These are two separate stamps and both are purchased where your purchase your fishing license.
  • West Virginia fishing license and your personal ID are required at all times while fishing.

There are certain places on the Forest have additional regulation put in place for conservation and protection of the Forest's natural resources. Please check site-specific pages for more information.

Types of Fishing on the Monongahela National Forest

The Monongahela National Forest is home to 87 species of fish including a wide variety of game fishes and associated non-game fish species.

The Forest features more than 600 miles of cold water streams that are inhabited year-round by native brook trout. These streams are prized for the vital habitat they provide in sustaining West Virginia’s only native trout. Rainbow and brown trout can also be found in some of our Forest streams.

Approximately 350 miles of streams on the Forest provide seasonal trout waters that transition exclusively into cool water or warm water fisheries as summer makes it way into the West Virginia highlands. Many of these streams are stocked during the fall, winter, and spring with hatchery raised rainbow, golden rainbow, brown, and brook trout by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to provide put-and-take trout fishing opportunities. The warm water angler will especially enjoy honing their skill in streams such as the South Branch Potomac River and the Greenbrier River which offer some of the State’s best smallmouth bass waters.

Those that enjoy the relaxing tranquility of lake fishing will want to experience the 251 acres of man-made lakes that are distributed among 4 reservoirs nestled in the mountains across the Forest. Bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout are fair game for those that wish to explore the water’s depth beneath the mirrored images cast upon these lakes.

Mountain Angling