Access Permit Requirement for Virginia Wildlife Management Areas and DGIF Lakes

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Beginning January 1, 2012, visitors to Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and public fishing lakes owned by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries who are age 17 and older will need to have an Access Permit unless they possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license, or a current Virginia boat registration.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) owns more than 201,000 acres of land on 39 WMAs located across the Commonwealth. DGIF also owns 35 public fishing lakes statewide. Most of the land and the lakes were purchased using primarily revenue from the sale of hunting licenses, freshwater fishing licenses, and trapping licenses.

Daily and Annual Access Permits for WMAs and department-owned public fishing lakes will be available January 1, 2012 for purchase online at, by calling 1-866-721-6911 during business hours, or at any license agent. DGIF has a network of more than 700 license agents statewide at most sporting goods stores and bait shops.

Cost for the Daily Access Permit is $4 and the cost for the Annual Access Permit is $23. The Access Permit, whether Daily or Annual, can be used to access any WMA and DGIF-owned public fishing lake statewide.

For more information about Access Permit, WMAs, and DGIF-owned public fishing lakes, visit

source: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF)

Published: March 3, 2012 | Updated: February 1, 2018