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Virginia Reservoirs Ranked for Largemouth Fishing
VDGIF aquatic biologists spend considerable effort and resources to manage, enhance, and protect largemouth bass populations in Virginia's public fishing reservoirs, lakes, and ponds. Most of these waters are sampled each year, or every few years, to assess current largemouth bass population parameters such as age and growth, spawning success, and size distribution. These population samples are generally collected using daytime, boat electrofishing gear targeting largemouth bass and are conducted in a manner that allows several comparisons to be made concerning fish populations. Since many Virginia anglers target largemouth bass, and fish larger than 15 inches are considered "preferred" nationwide; the following summary contains information about bass over 15 inches (preferred size).

Relative stock density of preferred fish (RSD-P below) is the proportion of bass in a population over eight inches (stock size or recruits) that are also at least 15 inches. Thus, this index describes the size structure of the population and the bigger the number, the higher the percentage of big bass (>15 inches) in the population. Catch-per-unit-effort of preferred fish (CPUE-P below) is a measure of how many bass over 15 inches are collected by biologists during a set unit of effort (in this case, 1-hour of electrofishing). Thus, the higher the number, the more abundant big bass were during the sample.

Several factors can bias these data (e.g., weather conditions, fish behavior), but samples were conducted with efforts to minimize these biases. The following is a summary of these data with lakes ranked by CPUE-P and divided into the four management regions of the state. Those lakes ranked at the top of the table will provide excellent opportunities for anglers to catch quality largemouth bass. You might notice that some of the large reservoirs are ranked lower than you might expect. Smaller reservoirs normally have higher sampling efficiency and will thus rank higher based on this evaluation. This is a guide for anglers to use and not necessarily the entire picture of Virginia bass fisheries but it will provide a good place to start. We hope you find this useful.

Region I (Southeast - Tidewater)

Reservoir Rank Year Size (ac) County CPUE-P RSD-P

Gardy's Millpond 1 2012 75 Northumberland 41 55

Chesdin 2 2010 3,100 Chesterfield 37 69

Prince 3 2010 777 Suffolk 35 66

Meade 4 2010 512 Suffolk 25 61

Western Branch 5 2010 1,579 Suffolk 24 94

Beaverdam Swamp 6 2012 635 Gloucester 24 41

Waller Mill 7 2012 360 York 24 33

Trashmore 8 2010 52 Virginia Beach 23 65

Sandy Bottom Pond 9 2011 12 City of Hampton 23 53

Lake Maury 10 2010 165 Newport News 22 71

Cohoon 11 2010 510 Suffolk 22 66

Harwood's Mill 12 2011 265 York 20 68

Diascund 13 2012 1,110 James City 20 29

Chandler's Millpond 14 2012 75 Westmoreland 20 25

Burnt Mills 15 2006 610 Isle of Wight 18 41

Smith 16 2007 222 Virginia Beach 17 39

Speight's Run 17 2008 197 Suffolk 15 37

Chickahominy Lake 18 2012 1,230 New Kent 15 28

Airfield 19 2010 62 Sussex 12 48

Woodstock Pond 20 2011 7.5 York 11 10

Swift Creek 21 2010 156 Chesterfield 10 20

Lee Hall 22 2011 230 Newport News 8 40

Harrison Lake 23 2012 82 Charles City 8 23

Lakeview 24 2010 42 Colonial Heights 8 20

Back Bay (creeks) 25 2010 22,000 Virginia Beach 7 28

Finger (Lone Star Lakes) 26 2007 22 Suffolk 6 60

Little Creek 27 2012 947 James City 4 17

Emporia 28 2009 210 Emporia 2 11

Oak Grove 29 2010 70 Chesapeake 0 0

Region II (South-central)

Reservoir Rank Year Size (ac) County CPUE-P RSD-P

Lake Burton 1 2012 76 Pittsylvania 49 59

Fairystone 2 2008 168 Patrick 25 32

Bear Creek 3 2008 42 Cumberland 23 39

Carvins Cove 4 2012 630 Roanoke 22 16

Brunswick 5 2008 150 Brunswick 21 30

Stonehouse 6 2011 41 Amherst 21 15

Smith Mountain 7 2012 20,600 Bedford, Franklin 20 34

Philpott 8 2011 2,880 Henry, Patrick 20 30

Kerr (Buggs Island) 9 2012 48,900 Mecklenburg 17 36

Leesville 10 2010 3,400 Pitts., Bedford 17 33

Conner 11 2008 110 Halifax 17 25

Sandy River 12 2012 740 Prince Edward 17 19

Gordon 13 2008 157 Mecklenburg 16 32

Nottoway 14 2011 188 Nottoway 16 10

Horsepen 15 2011 19 Buckingham 15 24

Briery Creek 16 2012 845 Prince Edward 15 16

Martinsville 17 2010 175 Henry 15 12

Mill Creek 18 2010 189 Amherst 11 10

Thrasher 19 2011 36 Amherst 7 4

Nelson 20 2012 40 Henry 5 3

Prince Edward 21 2009 27 Prince Edward 3 7

Amelia 22 2011 100 Amelia 2 2

Holliday 23 2008 145 Buckingham 1 2

Slate River Watershed 24 2008 38 Buckingham 0 0

Region III (Southwest)

Reservoir Rank Year Size (ac) County CPUE-P RSD-P

Lake Witten 1 2012 52 Tazewell 25 45

South Holston 2 2012 7,580 Washington 21 46

Rural Retreat 3 2009 90 Wythe 16 24

Gatewood 4 2009 162 Pulaski 16 22

Claytor 5 2012 4,363 Pulaski 15 42

Flannagan 6 2012 1,143 Dickenson 15 39

North Fk Pound 7 2011 154 Wise 10 31

Hidden Valley 8 2012 62 Washington 4 8

Lovill's Creek 9 2009 55 Carroll 3 5

Bark Camp 10 2011 48 Scott 1 3

Region IV (North-central)

Reservoir Rank Year Size (ac) County CPUE-P RSD-P

Pelham 1 2010 255 Culpeper 83 73

Germantown 2 2012 109 Fauquier 50 23

Occoquan 3 2012 2,100 Fairfax 49 53

Arrowhead 4 2009 34 Page 42 13

Burke 5 2010 218 Fairfax 36 50

Frederick 6 2012 117 Frederick 33 25

Anna 7 2012 9,600 Spotsylvania 31 38

Silver 8 2012 25 Prince William 29 18

Beaverdam Creek 9 2008 350 Loudoun 28 47

Fluvanna-Ruritan 10 2012 50 Fluvanna 28 37

Powhatan (lower) 11 2012 37 Powhatan 27 38

Laura 12 2006 44 Shenandoah 25 14

Powhatan (upper) 13 2012 34 Powhatan 23 40

Gordonsville 14 2006 75 Louisa 22 44

Fairfax 15 2008 28 Fairfax 22 31

Rivanna River 16 2010 450 Albemarle 20 22

Toiter Creek 17 2006 66 Albemarle 16 44

Brittle 18 2010 77 Fauquier 16 28

Hunting Run 19 2012 420 Spotsylvania 16 22

Robertson 20 2011 26 Rockbridge 16 6

Mountain Run 21 2010 75 Culpeper 15 7

Abel 22 2009 185 Stafford 14 20

Walnut Creek 23 2011 45 Albemarle 14 18

Ni 24 2007 411 Spotsylvania 13 30

Shenandoah 25 2008 36 Rockingham 13 9

Breckinridge 26 2006 47 Stafford 12 9

Lunga 27 2005 477 Stafford 11 13

Motts 28 2012 160 Spotsylvania 11 10

Orange 29 2011 124 Orange 8 10

Albemarle 30 2012 35 Albemarle 8 7

Beaver Creek 31 2011 104 Albemarle 7 4

Chris Green 32 2011 62 Albemarle 6 7

Moomaw 33 2011 2,530 Bath 5 39

Curtis 34 2012 91 Stafford 5 16

Northeast Creek 35 2008 187 Louisa 5 10

Smith 36 2007 250 Stafford 5 7

Lower Sherando 37 2011 26 Augusta 5 5

Accotink 38 2009 90 Fairfax 2 10

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