Fish

Photo of angler at Norton Reservoir

Norton Reservoir Fishing Regulations

Stocking

  • Norton Reservoir is a state-stocked trout water. Stocking occurs annually between Oct. 1 and May 15.

Licenses

  • A Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries trout license is required between Oct. 1 and June 15.

Catch Limit

  • Trout: Six fish per day. Trout less than 7 inches must be released.
  • Catfish: Five fish per day. Catfish less than 15 inches must be released.
    Trout and catfish only stocked in Upper Reservoir. Fishing is permitted in Lower Reservoir where all other fishing regulations also apply.

Catch/Release

  • Norton Reservoir is a catch-and-release fishing area, with the exception of trout and catfish.

Restrictions

  • Gasoline motors, swimming, and littering are prohibited.

Hours

  • Oct. 1-June 15: 5 a.m. until one hour after sunset. 
  • June 16-Sept. 30: One hour before sunrise until midnight.

Questions?

  • For stocking information, visit the VDGIF website or call 434-525-FISH. For reservoir information, call Norton's Parks and Recreation Department, (276) 679-0754.

Suggested Fishing SitesCloseup photo of a fishing rod

City of Norton

Photo of Norton Reservoir

  • Norton Reservoir: Four miles from downtown Norton. Upper Reservoir is 9.8 acres and Lower Reservoir 7.8 acres. Available activities: Fishing, kayaking/canoeing/paddle boarding, electric motor boats. Camping, hiking, and mountain biking trails located nearby. Driving Directions.

High Knob

  • High Knob Lake: A four-acre lake located in High Knob Recreation Area, about 7.5 miles from downtown Norton. A minimum 14-inch length limit for brook trout is in place, and anglers can possess only two brook trout greater than 14 inches per day, according to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries regulations. Artificial lures allowed. The use of bait is prohibited. A National Forest Permit is also required to fish in the lake. Driving Directions.

  • Big Stony Creek (Mountain Fork): This is a special regulation trout water and is strictly catch and release. It includes the portion of Big Stony Creek (Mountain Fork) and its tributaries within the Jefferson National Forest from the outlet of High Knob Lake downstream to the confluence of Chimney Rock Fork and Big Stony Creek. See the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) website for more information.

Coeburn/Scott County

Photo of Bark Camp Lake

  • Bark Camp Lake: A 60-acre lake located almost 13 miles from Norton in Scott County. Available Activities: Canoeing/kayaking and electric motor boats, fishing, hiking trails. A paved boat launch, picnicking, and campground also available. Day Use Fee: $3. Driving Directions.

  • Little Stony Creek: This is a special regulation trout water and is strictly catch and release. It includes the portion of Little Stony Creek and its tributaries within the Jefferson National Forest from the Falls of Little Stony Creek downstream to a posted sign at the Hanging Rock Recreation Area. See the VDGIF website for more information.

Wise

Pound/Dickenson County

  • North Fork of Pound Reservoir: This 154-acre lake with 13.5 miles of wooded shoreline is located about 17 miles from Norton outside Pound. Several recreation areas offer access to the lake and various amenities. Visit North Fork of Pound Boat Launch, Phillips Creek Day Use Area, and Cane Patch Campground for more information and driving directions.

  • Pound River: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) manages this resource, which includes the largest tail-water trout fishery in Southwest Virginia. Visit the VDGIF website for more information and driving directions.

  • Flannagan Reservoir: This 1,143-acre impoundment in Dickenson County offers a variety of sportfish species. See the VDGIF website for more information and driving directions.

Big Stone Gap

  • Big Cherry Reservoir: This 250-acre lake in Big Stone Gap allows canoes/kayaks and electric motor boats. Fishing and seasonal hunting also permitted. Visit the Big Stone Gap website for more information on reservoir access and fees.

St. Paul

  • Clinch River: There are several opportunities to explore the Clinch River on its journey through Virginia from Tazewell County to the Tennessee state line. Visit the Clinch River Valley Initiative website for more information on river access, communities along the river, and other amenities and attractions.

Wise/Lee Counties

  • Powell River: The headwaters of this river are located in Wise County. Numerous fishing opportunities are available along the river's approximate 80-mile journey through Wise and Lee counties. There is limited public access, however, so anglers are encouraged to seek landowners' permission when accessing the river from private lands. Visit the VDGIF website for more information.

Lee CountyPhoto of Lake Keokee

  • Lake Keokee: A 92-acre lake located almost 21 miles from Norton in Lee County. Available activities: Fishing, non-gasoline motor boats, and hiking. Visit the VDGIF and U.S. Forest Service websites for more information on amenities. Driving Directions.

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