Gov. Justice hosts celebratory trout stocking and Gold Rush kickoff event at Coopers Rock State Forest


MORGANTOWN, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) Director Stephen McDaniel and West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby today for a celebratory golden rainbow trout stocking at Coopers Rock Lake in Coopers Rock State Forest.

Today’s ceremony marked the official start of the fourth annual West Virginia Gold Rush. This year’s 12-day long event features the stocking of 50,000 golden rainbow trout in 62 lakes and streams across the state, including waters in or near 15 state parks and forests.
“This is an event that excites so many anglers across the country, and we have it right here in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “Over the next 12 days, get out and make memories with your families. The goal is to catch one of these golden beauties, but the reality is you’ll leave with something much better; some great memories with your loved ones and a tradition that can be enjoyed for years to come.”

Stocking locations and details about Gold Rush can be found at

The 2021 Gold Rush is bigger and better than ever before, with 12 days of stockings instead of one week as seen in previous years.
In addition to the extended dates, this year’s Gold Rush includes more opportunities than ever for anglers to win prizes for catching tagged trout. One hundred golden rainbow trout will receive special numbered tags, which can be entered to win one of four prizes. The grand prize is a three-night cabin stay at Blackwater Falls State Park. Other prizes include one-night cabin stays at a state park or forest, West Virginia State Parks gift cards, and exclusive Gold Rush merchandise. Anglers who catch a golden trout with a numbered tag during Gold Rush can enter the number online at with their contact information for a chance to win prizes.

For those who don’t reel in one of the 100 golden rainbow trout with a tag, there are still chances to win prizes by signing up to receive travel tips and information from the WVDNR during Gold Rush.

“The Governor wanted to provide extra opportunities for anglers to enjoy Gold Rush this year, and so we’ve added ways to win incredible prizes, including stays at our beautiful state parks,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Gold Rush takes place right at the beginning of spring and there’s truly not a better time to get back outside in West Virginia. We are so thankful for the Governor’s support of this event and all endeavors to drive tourism in our great state.”
A lodging discount is also available at West Virginia State Parks participating in Gold Rush. To save 15% on select lodge and cabin reservations, the promo code “GOLD” can be applied while checking out online at Complete details about the discount can be found at

“There’s nothing better than a visit to West Virginia’s state parks and forests with your family,” Gov. Justice said. “The folks at Tourism and DNR have been working tirelessly to provide the best stays possible at these great spots and Gold Rush is the perfect reason to visit. Fish, hike, find a beautiful view. It’s all right there for you.”
All anglers age 15 and older are required to 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 Additionally, all anglers must follow West Virginia’s fishing regulations.

“Today we were at just one of West Virginia’s great places to fish and explore, but there are so many others receiving Gold Rush stockings,” said WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “After a challenging year, these next 12 days are the perfect occasion to get out there and just appreciate our beautiful state and, of course, reel in a prized golden rainbow trout. Thank you to Governor Justice and Secretary Ruby for supporting WVDNR and partnering with us on what will be the best Gold Rush yet.”
Golden rainbow trout will be stocked across West Virginia every day through Saturday, April 3. All details about Gold Rush can be found online at

Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


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Charleston, WV 25305

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