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Chicahominy Lake and River Virginia

Virginia striper fishing

; chickohominy River Virginia

Chicahominy Riverfront park

Chicahominy Reservoir

Located just minutes southeast of Richmond and northwest of Williamsburg the Chickahominy Lake and River system is one of the leading citation producers for all of Virginia. The lake was created in 1942 with the construction of Walker's Dam on the upper Chickahominy River forming a shallow lake with over eight miles of fishable water. The reservoir's irregular, cypress-lined shoreline stretches to encompass over 1,800 acres. Half of this is a tree and stump-filled swamp which serves as a natural fish hatchery providing the other 900 acres of open water with an ongoing and stable replenishment of aquatic life. Designed as a water supply reservoir for the city of Newport News, the lake now serves as one of the best fishing spots in Virginia.
This is a 1230-acre water supply reservoir located along the New Kent-Charles City county line. The low-head dam of this lake (known locally as Walkers Dam) was completed in 1943 and incorporates twin Denil fish ladders to allow for the passage of anadromous fish such as blueback herring and striped bass. Surveys in 1989, 1990 and 1992 indicted that river herring were passing through the ladder in tremendous numbers and spawning both within and upstream of the reservoir. There is a manually operated boat lock at the dam, which allows boat traffic to move between the lake and river. This cypress-laden lake provides spectacular scenery, and is great for bird watching. In addition, it just happens to be one of the best all round fisheries in Virginia. The cypress trees, water lilies and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) provide excellent habitats for aquatic organisms and are undoubtedly one of the reasons for the consistently good fishing at this lake over the years.

Even with the dam blocking the daily tidal flux, intrusion of brackish water into the lake still occurs via a self-operated boat lock allowing anglers to fish both the river and lake. Also a fish ladder allows many species of anadromous fish to migrate into the lake for the spring spawning season.
The migratory fish that enter the lake each spring include members of the shad family, white and yellow perch, herring and striped bass.
With broad expanses of open marshes, cypress trees along much of its shoreline, and a diversity of fish species choose from, the Chickahominy River provides the angler with tidal river fishing at its finest. This river has supported a nationally recognized largemouth bass fishery for many decades. Although in recent years bass fishing was off somewhat, the largemouth population in the tidal Chickahominy has improved and anglers are again reporting excellent bass fishing in the tidal Chick. "Dipping herring" during the spring spawning run has been a tradition for many years at Walkers Dam, and the river herring run continues to draw many anglers to Walkers Dam each spring from early March through May. During the peak of the run, armed with bare gold hooks or small spoons, anglers can land an abundance of these unique fish.

Best Fishing

Lakes: Smith Mountain, Buggs Island, Anna, Claytor, Gaston, Leesville and Western Branch. Rivers: Staunton/Roanoke and all tidal rivers.

Fishing Techniques

Heavy baitcasting, spincasting or spinning outfits with a good backbone and 15 to 25 pound test line. Live bait includes large minnows or gizzard or threadfin shad. Large feathered or plastic jig combinations, spoons, crankbaits that imitate shad or other fish and bucktails. Trolling, drift fishing, jump fishing or deep jigging are usual fishing methods.


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