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Fishing at Zetts: Do You Need a License? Find Out Here

Are you an avid angler looking for a hassle-free fishing experience? Look no further than Zetts Tri-State Fish Farm & Hatchery! Many people are unsure if they need a fishing license to cast their line at this popular spot. We’re here to clear the air and provide you with all the information you need to enjoy a day of fishing at Zetts. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of fishing license requirements, rules, and what you can expect when you visit Zetts. Our information is based on authoritative sources, including Zetts Fish Hatchery’s official website, ensuring you have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

What is Zetts Tri-State Fish Farm & Hatchery?

Zetts Tri-State Fish Farm & Hatchery is a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts. Located in the scenic town of Inwood, West Virginia, this fish hatchery has been a favorite among anglers for years. The hatchery raises a variety of fish species, including trout, catfish, and more, ensuring a diverse and exciting fishing experience for visitors.

The history of Zetts Fish Hatchery dates back several decades. The hatchery was established with the goal of providing a top-notch fishing experience for people of all ages and skill levels. Over the years, Zetts has become known for its well-stocked ponds, friendly atmosphere, and commitment to sustainable fishing practices.

One of the unique aspects of Zetts Fish Hatchery is its location. Inwood, West Virginia is a charming small town nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. The surrounding landscape is breathtaking, with rolling hills, lush forests, and pristine streams. This picturesque setting adds to the overall experience of fishing at Zetts, making it not just a fishing trip, but a true outdoor adventure.

Fishing at Zetts

Zetts Fish Hatchery offers a fantastic opportunity for anglers to enjoy their favorite pastime. The hatchery features several well-stocked ponds where visitors can fish to their heart’s content. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner just learning the ropes, Zetts has something to offer.

One of the main draws of fishing at Zetts is the variety of fish available. The hatchery is known for its trout and catfish, but you can also catch other species like bass, bluegill, and more. The ponds are regularly stocked, ensuring there are always plenty of fish to catch.

Fishing at Zetts is a popular recreational activity for locals and tourists alike. On any given day, you’ll find families, friends, and solo anglers casting their lines and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. It’s a great way to spend quality time outdoors, bond with loved ones, and experience the thrill of reeling in a big catch.

The ponds at Zetts are designed with accessibility in mind. The banks are well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it simple for anglers of all ages and abilities to find a comfortable spot to fish. Whether you prefer to fish from the shore or wade into the water, Zetts accommodates different fishing styles.

Fishing License Requirements at Zetts

One of the most common questions people have about fishing at Zetts is whether they need a fishing license. The good news is that no fishing license is required to fish at Zetts Tri-State Fish Farm & Hatchery. This sets Zetts apart from many other fishing locations and makes it an attractive option for those looking to avoid the hassle of obtaining a license.

The reason you don’t need a fishing license at Zetts is that it is a private fish hatchery, not public waters. In West Virginia, fishing licenses are required for fishing in public lakes, rivers, and streams. However, private hatcheries like Zetts are exempt from this requirement.

At Zetts, fishing is considered “pay fishing.” This means that instead of purchasing a fishing license from the state, you pay Zetts directly for the privilege of fishing in their ponds. The fees you pay go towards maintaining the hatchery, stocking the ponds, and providing amenities for visitors.

This system makes fishing at Zetts incredibly convenient. You don’t have to worry about obtaining a fishing license in advance or keeping track of expiration dates. Simply show up at Zetts, pay the required fee, and start fishing. It’s a straightforward process that allows you to focus on enjoying your time on the water.

Fishing Rules & Regulations at Zetts

While you don’t need a fishing license to fish at Zetts, there are still some rules and regulations to be aware of. These guidelines are in place to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and sustainable fishing experience for everyone.

One of the most notable rules at Zetts is the limit on the number of fish you can keep. Each paying person is allowed to keep up to 6 fish at no extra charge. This means that if you catch more than 6 fish, you’ll need to release the excess fish back into the pond. This rule helps maintain the fish population and ensures that there are always plenty of fish for future visitors to catch.

Another important regulation at Zetts is the prohibition of pets. To maintain a clean and safe environment, pets are not allowed on the hatchery grounds. This includes dogs, cats, and any other animals. If you’re planning to visit Zetts, please make arrangements for your pets to stay elsewhere.

Boats are also not permitted on the ponds at Zetts. Fishing is strictly from the shore or by wading into the water. This rule helps prevent overcrowding on the ponds and ensures that everyone has equal access to the best fishing spots.

One amenity that Zetts does allow is bringing your own BBQ grill. If you want to make a day of it and enjoy a picnic lunch or dinner while you fish, feel free to bring along your grill. Just be sure to clean up after yourself and dispose of any trash properly.

What to Expect When Fishing at Zetts

Now that you know the basics of fishing at Zetts, let’s dive into what you can expect when you visit. Understanding what to anticipate can help you plan your trip and make the most of your time at the hatchery.

First and foremost, you can expect well-stocked ponds with plenty of fish to catch. Zetts takes great pride in regularly stocking their ponds with a variety of fish species. Whether you’re hoping to reel in a trophy trout or just enjoy the excitement of a nibble on your line, you’re likely to find success at Zetts.

Another aspect of fishing at Zetts that many people appreciate is the ease of catching fish. While fishing always involves some level of skill and patience, the ponds at Zetts are known for being beginner-friendly. The fish are typically eager to bite, making it easier for even novice anglers to experience the thrill of a catch.

In addition to the fishing itself, Zetts offers a relaxing and scenic setting. The hatchery grounds are well-maintained and surrounded by natural beauty. You can take in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, and enjoy a peaceful day outdoors. It’s a great way to unwind and de-stress from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Zetts is also known for its family-friendly atmosphere. Fishing is a wonderful activity for people of all ages, and Zetts welcomes families with open arms. Children can learn the joys of fishing in a safe and supportive environment, while adults can bond over a shared love of the sport. It’s a great opportunity to create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Tips for Fishing at Zetts

To make the most of your fishing experience at Zetts, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Bring your own fishing gear and bait. While Zetts provides the fish, it’s up to you to bring your own rod, reel, line, and bait. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment before you arrive to avoid any delays in starting your fishing adventure.
  2. Use worms or powerbait for best results. While you’re welcome to use any type of bait you prefer, many anglers find success with classic options like worms or powerbait. These tried-and-true baits are often irresistible to the fish at Zetts.
  3. Visit in the morning or evening for optimal fishing conditions. Fish tend to be most active during the cooler hours of the day, so planning your visit for the morning or evening can increase your chances of a successful catch. Plus, you’ll avoid the midday heat and enjoy a more pleasant fishing experience.
  4. Take advantage of the 6-fish limit. Remember, each paying person at Zetts is allowed to keep up to 6 fish at no extra charge. If you’re planning to keep your catch, be sure to bring a cooler or other storage container to transport your fish home safely.


In conclusion, fishing at Zetts Tri-State Fish Farm & Hatchery is a fantastic option for anyone looking to enjoy a day of angling without the need for a fishing license. As a private hatchery, Zetts offers a convenient “pay fishing” experience that eliminates the hassle of obtaining a state license.

By following the rules and regulations set forth by Zetts, such as the 6-fish limit, no pets policy, and no boats allowed, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience for yourself and others. With well-stocked ponds, a relaxing atmosphere, and a family-friendly environment, Zetts is the perfect destination for a fun day of fishing with loved ones.

So grab your fishing gear, pack some snacks, and head out to Zetts Tri-State Fish Farm & Hatchery for an unforgettable angling adventure. With no fishing license required and plenty of fish to catch, it’s a stress-free way to indulge in your favorite pastime. Happy fishing!

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