Gov. Justice waives fishing license requirement for West Virginia residents
For the next month, while West Virginians have been ordered to avoid going out and nonessential businesses have closed, the state is removing the requirement for licenses to fish in state-regulated waters.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced in his daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday that from March 26 through April 24, the requirement for a fishing license would be waived for all state residents.
"I want people to make the best of this difficult situation," said Gov. Justice in a tweet. "Remember - practice safe social distancing!"
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources said that officers will continue to patrol all state waterways and may ask any fishers for proof of West Virginia residency, like a driver's license or a state-issued ID.
That's because license requirements remain in place for anyone from out-of-state.
All fishing regulations remain in effect for both state residents and non-residents, including bag limits, slot limits, catch-and-release areas, and fly-fishing-only areas.
The waiver only applies to fishing licenses, which includes a waiver for trout and conservation stamps.
All requirements for hunting licenses remain in effect across West Virginia.
All regularly scheduled trout stockings will also continue, except for the Gold Rush stocking, which was postponed to cut down on crowds.
In Virginia, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries