Fishing in the James River Park

With a mixture of rapids, deep pools, and calm flatwater, the James provides habitats for a wide range of aquatic life. This is a citation fishery for small-mouth bass, and there is a prohibition on keeping any bass between the sizes of 11″ and 22″ and allowing only one longer than 22″ to be kept. A current Va. Fishing License is required and should be displayed at all times.

where to fish in the park

River Safety

It is recommended that you wear personal flotation devices while boating, fishing or rock-hopping when water levels reach five feet or more. When kayaking or canoeing it is required that you wear a personal floatation device no matter the water level. 

The river bottom is uneven, so it’s still possible to get in over your head even when the river level is low. Wear close-toed shoes when in the water, and if swept up by a rapid, float feet first to protect your head until you can swim free.

Report an Issue Form

To report an emergency please call 911 immediately. Please use this form to report an issue in the Park such as maintenance or trail issues. Thank you.

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