Castlemans Run Lake WMA – WV Public Land

Castleman Run WMA

CastlemanS Run Lake Wildlife Management Area

There are 1.4 million acres of public land in West Virginia to explore, comprising 8% of the state’s total land area.  Castlemans Run Lake WMA is one of 96 different properties across the state managed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources for hunting, fishing or other outdoor activities.  These wildlife management areas are constantly being improved for both the quality of wildlife habitat and visitor enjoyment. 

With so many options to choose from, picking the right one to visit can be challenging.  Each week we will focus on one West Virginia public land starting in the northern panhandle and traveling south.

Castleman Run WMA

Public Land Hunting at Castlemans Run Wildlife Management Area during the 2021 deer hunting season.
Photo Credit WV Outsider

Castlemans Run Lake Wildlife Management Area is located in both Brooke and and Ohio County.  It sits approximately 3 miles south of Bethany College, the oldest post-secondary educational institution in the state of West Virginia.  The property can be accessed by traveling south on Castleman Run Road.  The property can also be accessed by travelling along county route 32/3 and 32/5.

The 836 acre property is moderate sloped and is covered with mixed hardwoods, brushy vegetation, and open fields.  Some of the fields are planted by the WV DNR for wildlife and can be hot spots for hunting during deer season.

Castleman Run WMA

Fishing At Castlemans Run Lake

Castlemans Run Lake is a 22 acre lake that is stocked with trout from February to May.  The lake reaches 14 feet at the deepest portion and also provides fishing opportunities for bass, bluegill and catfish.   There are two parking areas adjacent to the lake that provide easy access.  No long trip hauling lots of gear is required to cast a line at this lake.  A quick walk from the car and you will be having fun in no time.

Currently, the lake at Castlemans Run WMA is receiving the additional trout stocking allocated to Bear Rock Lakes Wildlife Management Area.  Bear Rock Lakes WMA is not being stocked with trout at this time due to lowered water level.  The low water level is due to mining activity going on beneath the lake.  

Because of this, the regular trout stocking at Bear Rock Lakes WMA is being diverted to Castlemans Run WMA.  This provides additional fishing opportunity until the mining activity at Bear Rock is finished.  This is slated for some time at the end of summer 2023.

Due to the small size of the lake only boats with electric motors are permitted when fishing Castlemans Run Lake.  Kayaks and canoes can provide good fishing access to the western shore of the lake.

Castleman Run WMA

Hunting At Castlemans Run

There are five designated parking areas for public hunting access at Castlemans Run Wildlife Management Area, two of which are near the lake.  If you are hunting public land in West Virginia, you can find deer, turkey, waterfowl and quail available on the 2,080 acres of Castleman Run.

The rolling hillsides and benches combined with planted fields and streams offers a diverse habitat for the deer population to thrive.  Thick cover and large adjacent properties allow for deer to mature and grow to trophy sizes.   Deer hunters should find ample opportunity at Castlemans Run WMA in the fall.   If you are looking for a new spot, Castleman Run is a good choice for WV public hunting land.

To fish or hunt at Castlemans Run WMA, you must have a valid WV hunting or fishing license available online at WVHunt.com

Future Developments at Castleman Run Wildlife Management Area

In the past few years, the property adjacent to the northern border of Castleman Run WMA has changed hands from the Gene Valentine Trust and is now owned by a limited liability company out of West Virginia.  

If the area was purchased for its timber value, at some point we may possibly see an agreement for the usage of this additional 405 acres between the holding company and the WV DNR after operations on the property cease.  The state of WV is always trying to increase the amount of public land accessible to hunters in the state.  In the past, many lease agreements have been made to open properties to hunting and fishing.  If this were to happen, the size of Castlemans Run Wildlife Management Area would increase by nearly 50% and open up new public hunting land opportunities in the area.

Castleman Run Hunting

Castlemans Run WMA Highlights

  • 22 Acre lake with ample parking and great perimeter access
  • Lake is regularly stocked with trout
  • 836 acres to explore
  • Large tract of WV Public Hunting Land with good terrain for deer hunting
  • Remote hilltop fields are planted for wildlife
  • Possibility of expansion in the future
Castlemans Run Topo Map

Castlemans Run WMA Hunting Topo Map Courtesy of the WV DNR

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Castleman Lake WV

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