Fishing

Arrowwood Mud Lake Aerial

In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge System offers a wide variety of quality fishing opportunities.  Fishing programs promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on all lands and waters in the Refuge System.  Every year, about 7 million anglers visit national wildlife refuges, where knowledgeable staff and thousands of volunteers help them have a wonderful fishing experience. 


Winter ice-fishing, summer fishing and bow fishing opportunities are sporadic in nature, but can occur when water conditions are right. Northern pike, walleye and perch have been found in the lakes and the James River channel. Unfortunately the refuge is also populated by common carp and at times their population can be high, destroying aquatic vegetation and raising water turbidity, but bow fishing opportunities can also be very good.
 

Successful bowfisher Halko 

Refuge lakes are shallow and very productive and fish present can grow rapidly. Unfortunately, these shallow lakes and impoundments are subject to winterkill, which can quickly eliminate the Refuge fishery. When winterkill occurs, fish may restock naturally from the James River system, or it may take years before the fishery rebounds. 

 
Two primitive boat launches provides access to Arrowwood Lake, with a launch and restrooms at Warbler Woodland and another primitive launch at the Highway 9 right-of-way on the north end of the lake. Another primitive boat launch is located in the southwest corner of Jim Lake. Boats are restricted to a maximum of 25 horsepower motor and are only allowed from May 1 to September 30. 

 
Brochures are available describing both hunting and fishing regulations and opportunities and these are available at refuge Headquarters and informational kiosks and though downloadable pdf’s on the Maps page