Vic Thomas State Fish Hatchery

Sign outside the Vic Thomas Hatchery

Located at 125 Radio Road in Brookneal, The Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery sits on 55 acres along the banks of the Staunton River.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Phone: 434-376-2314 

large tubs for fingerling fish line up in a factory-like facilityworker observes large containers of brilliant green water in factory-like settingThe primary focus at this facility is propagating the freshwater strain Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis); although increased emphasis has been placed on the propagation of Walleye (Sander vitreus), White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis), and Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus).  The fingerling fish are raised for stocking over twenty large and small reservoirs, lakes, and rivers throughout the Commonwealth for recreational fishing enhancement.  The Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery is centrally located to other Commonwealth fish hatcheries making it a vital staging and distribution facility for importations of other fish species used for enhancing recreational opportunities and decreasing unwanted aquatic vegetation throughout the Commonwealth.

Water falls from a large glass and metal container into a sluiceThe Hatchery stocks around 750,000 Striped Bass fingerlings, 3-400,000 Walleye fingerlings, 4-500,000 Bluegill fingerlings, and 50,000 White Crappie fingerlings annually.  Additionally, the Hatchery supplies other Hatcheries in the Commonwealth with Striped Bass and Walleye eggs and fry as requested. large stripe bass swims in a metal tub with two smaller fish.The hatchery distributes Channel Catfish for the urban fishing program as well as distributing triploid Grass Carp for vegetation control in Commonwealth waters.  The hatchery has incorporated pollinator habitat plots throughout the facility grounds to enhance various pollinators (such as ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, and birds) and to provide educational outreach to the community.

Hatchery Manager Mike Gafford and Assistant Manager Gordon Judd welcome your visits and questions.

Images by: Meghan Marchetti/DWR


Information about the Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery was retrieved on 7/19/2022 from the Department of Wildlife Resources website here.