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West Virginia Wildlife
Helicopter Stocking
Patrick McMurtry Creating A Wilderness Fishing Experience For Anglers

June 13, 2012
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


Trout fishing is one of the most popular sports in West Virginia, and while nearly all the great trout streams in the state are easily accessible....this one is not....the mighty Gauley River is wild and remote...in other words, the perfect place to get away with a fly rod and a dream.

Jim Walker, a biologist with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, says this river is unique. "The Gauley River is so remote, there is no access, the only way into this section is by white water boat, or by helicopter, or by hiking."

Trout aren't native to this river, so there's only one way to get them here
by helicopter....a lot of work but the pay off is tremendous

After a quick ride, one of twenty we took last week, two loads of nice rainbows get a new home in this remote section of the Gauley, waters usually only traveled by white water rafts and avid anglers. And these fish...we'll they're bought and paid for by the white water outfitters who make their living on this river....a deal that's been working for 20 years.

Bobby Bower, a Gauley River outfitter explains how the partnership works. "The DNR would get the trout and the outfitters would give them the money, so it's a good partnership between the state of WV, the DNR and the outfitters"

The release from Summersville Dam, which creates the great white water rafting, also messes up fishing for a while...the water's just too fast to fish in...so the outfitters kick in some cash to buy fish as a way to kind of even things out for trout fishermen. By doing it here, the DNR's creating a unique area to fish that's unmatched in this part of the country.

"What we're trying to create here is a wilderness fishing experience which is different than our typical stock sites." says Walker.

There is nothing typical about fishing the Gauley, and with 1,500 pounds of trout put in five miles of river, there's plenty of spots to try, and endless memories and stories to tell about your trip in paradise.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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