Fish to Your Heart’s Content in the Heart of Appalachia

4:50AM April 20, 2019
Written by Pam Vance

Heart of Appalachia Tourism Author­i­ty (HOA) has launched a new mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive called Fish to Your Heart’s Con­tent, designed to attract a new tourism demo­graph­ic to the region.

“Local res­i­dents have known for decades that the Heart of Appalachia region offers some of the best fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in the state,” said Erin Ried­ham­mer, HOA Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. “We decid­ed it was time to share that fact with the rest of the world.”

The Vir­ginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fish­eries (DGIF) reports that over 800,000 peo­ple choose Vir­ginia as their fish­ing des­ti­na­tion each year, which pro­duces an eco­nom­ic impact of $1.3 mil­lion to the state.

Accord­ing to the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Recre­ation (DCR), a third of all Vir­gini­ans enjoy and active­ly par­tic­i­pate in fresh water fish­ing, with a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of those express­ing their desire for increased pub­lic access to state waters for fish­ing, swim­ming and beach use.

Five state record catch­es have been estab­lished in the Heart of Appalachia region, cre­at­ing a rich, con­cen­trat­ed fish­ing envi­ron­ment for avid anglers.


The HOA fish­ing brochure show­cas­es some of the pre­mier fish­ing loca­tions in the Coal­field Region includ­ing trout streams, rivers and lakes that boast an impres­sive vari­ety of fish, numer­ous spe­cial reg­u­la­tion streams and con­ve­nient pub­lic access.

Down­load a copy of the HOA Fish­ing Brochure

In addi­tion, the Clinch Riv­er, the most bio-diverse riv­er in the North­ern Hemi­sphere, flows entire­ly through the Heart of Appalachia from Tazewell, Rus­sell, and Scott coun­ties to the Ten­nessee bor­der. The Clinch is becom­ing famous for its unique vari­ety of sport fish, over 40 mus­sel species — 26 of which are endan­gered — and great kayak, pad­dle­board and tub­ing out­fit­ters.

The Recre­ation­al Boat­ing and Fish­ing Foun­da­tion reports that 77 per­cent of peo­ple who fish also par­tic­i­pate in oth­er out­door activ­i­ties. HOA’s mis­sion is to bring vis­i­tors to the region for what­ev­er activ­i­ty they enjoy doing and then show­case the numer­ous oth­er out­door adven­tures, fun attrac­tions, his­toric sites and scenic beau­ty so that trav­el­ers spend more time and mon­ey while here.

elevate relax

The organization has developed the “Heart Rate” campaign to highlight the many ways a visitor can “ELEVATE Your Heart Rate” and “Relax Your Heart Rate” in the Heart of Appalachia region through our exciting outdoor adventure and relaxing scenic beauty.

Tourism is an essen­tial com­po­nent to the Coal­field Region’s econ­o­my, gen­er­at­ing over $167 mil­lion each year in vis­i­tor spend­ing, accord­ing to Vir­ginia Tourism Cor­po­ra­tion.

“The moun­tains that once pro­vid­ed an econ­o­my based on coal pro­duc­tion are now enabling us to cre­ate a new pro­file as a world-class des­ti­na­tion for out­door adven­ture,” said Dr. Stan Botts, HOA Board of Direc­tors Chair­man.

Heart of Appalachia Tourism Author­i­ty was cre­at­ed in 1993 by the Vir­ginia Gen­er­al Assem­bly to devel­op, expand and pro­mote the tourism assets in the Coal­field Region includ­ing Buchanan, Dick­en­son, Lee, Rus­sell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise coun­ties and the City of Nor­ton.

HOA mar­kets the numer­ous attrib­ut­es of Virginia’s west­ern­most moun­tains to increase vis­i­tor spend­ing and busi­ness devel­op­ment for the max­i­mum eco­nom­ic impact.

For more infor­ma­tion regard­ing the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Author­i­ty, or to request a Fish to Your Heart’s Con­tent brochure, call (276) 762-0011 or email moc.a1555750256ihcal1555750256appaf1555750256otrae1555750256h@ofn1555750256i1555750256.

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