Justice announces state’s biggest Gold Rush Giveaway

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice announced, last week, that the West Virginia Gold Rush will be bigger and better than ever this year and include five times the number of chances to win prizes when the popular trout stocking event returns for its seventh year on April 1.

“As a lifelong angler, there’s nothing that brings me more joy than to announce the return of this incredible event. The West Virginia Gold Rush not only showcases the breathtaking beauty of our natural landscapes but also highlights the world-class fishing opportunities our state offers,” said Gov. Justice. “From avid anglers to families looking for a fun outdoor activity, I want to encourage everyone to participate in this exciting event and help make this year’s Gold Rush the best one yet.”

This is the seventh annual Gold Rush, which had its inaugural stocking in April 2018. Since then, Gov. Justice has promoted the event by adding more golden rainbow trout, more stocking locations and more chances to win prizes.

“Gold Rush wouldn’t be what it is today without the leadership of Gov. Justice and his commitment to enhancing the angling experience in our state,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion. “As we celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Gold Rush, we look forward to seeing all of the ways this exciting event helps recruit the next generation of anglers and helps us keep West Virginia’s outdoor traditions alive and well for years to come.”

From April 1 to April 13, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will stock more than 50,000 golden rainbow trout at 68 lakes and streams around the state, including waters in or near 15 state parks and forests. Stocking locations and details about the Gold Rush can be found at WVdnr.gov/goldrush.

The Gold Rush Giveaway

The Gold Rush Giveaway will return this year bigger and better than ever. Out of the 50,000 golden rainbow trout stocked during the event, 500 trout will receive a numbered tag, five times the number of tagged trout in past years. If an angler catches a trout with one of these tags, they can enter the tag number at WVdnr.gov/goldrush for a chance to win one of five free West Virginia resident lifetime fishing licenses, a one-night stay at a state park or forest cabin or a $25 West Virginia State Parks gift card.

In addition to increasing the number of tagged trout, the WVDNR is also giving away exclusive Gold Rush merchandise to everyone who reports their tagged golden rainbow trout catch during the event.

Fishing Licenses and Regulations

All anglers 15 and older must have a West Virginia fishing license with a current trout stamp and a valid form of identification while fishing during Gold Rush. Licenses and stamps can be purchased online at WVfish.com. Anglers are encouraged to upgrade their fishing experience by opting for a physical license card when they purchase their 2024 fishing license and trout stamp. Anglers are also reminded to follow West Virginia’s fishing regulations. For more information about stockings and other fishing resources, visit WVdnr.gov.

Gold Rush Lodging Discount

To encourage anglers and their families to plan a Gold Rush adventure, West Virginia State Parks is offering a 15% discount on lodge rooms, cabins and campsites booked between now and April 30. To receive the discount, book online at WVstateparks.com and use the offer code GOLD at checkout. Offer is valid only at parks receiving Gold Rush stockings. Some exclusions apply.

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