“catch and release ponds”
Bowden Hatchery was built in the early 1960’s by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The WV DNR took over operation and ownership of the hatchery on July 1, 1997. Water is supplied by the North Spring and the South Spring as well as the Shavers Fork River for a combined flow of approximately 4,000 gallons per minute. Nearby Shavers Fork, Gandy Creek and Glady Fork, as well as other waters around the state, are stocked from Bowden Hatchery. Annual production of trout is over 170,000 pounds, which is typically about 240,000 trout! Bowden spawns brook and brown trout and receives rainbow and golden trout eggs from Petersburg Hatchery. Rearing facilities consist of 40 concrete raceways, each 100 feet long and configured in two pair series. Six half acre ponds are also used seasonally for the rearing of muskies. The Bowden Fishing Derby is held here every June. This event is for children 3-14 and takes place on the Saturday of the state's free fishing days. Three ponds are filled and stocked especially for this event. Two ponds are for the young anglers to harvest several trout while the third pond is Catch and Release. Visiting hours are from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM every day, pending on weather conditions.
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