The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has announced that the stocked trout section of Tom’s Creek in Montgomery County will now be designated as a “no fall stocking” trout water. As a result of this change, Tom’s Creek will not be stocked until January each year and will receive a total of four stockings between Jan. 1 and May 15.
According to the VDWR, The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has recently confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in an adult male deer legally harvested near Dugspur, in Carroll County. This marks the first confirmed case of CWD in Carroll County, although the county is already included in Disease Management Area 3 (DMA3) due to previous detections in neighboring counties.
The deer in question was brought to a taxidermist in October 2023, and DWR obtained the sample shortly thereafter as part of the Department’s proactive CWD surveillance efforts. After confirmatory testing at a separate lab and verification of the exact location of harvest, DWR has arranged for additional sample collection from the general area. No regulatory changes will be implemented until the conclusion of the 2023–2024 deer hunting season.
As a reminder, whole carcasses and high-risk tissues from deer harvested in Carroll County may not be transported outside of DMA3 boundaries. Hunters in Carroll County can choose to have their deer tested for CWD at no cost by bringing the head to a CWD drop site or a participating meat processor in DMA3. Refrigerator locations and participating processors can be found through the new interactive testing map or in this DMA3 drop site list.
For additional information about hunting in DMA3, please visit: What You Need To Know About Hunting in Disease Management Area 3.
In addition to increased testing in Carroll County, the DWR aims to enhance CWD testing in neighboring Wythe County. To achieve this, a voluntary refrigerator drop location has been established at the Wytheville State Fish Hatchery. Hunters in Wythe County can utilize this location to have their harvested deer tested at no cost. However, it is important to note that deer harvested in DMA3 must remain within the DMA and are not eligible to be brought into Wythe County at this time.
To aid in the tracking and management of CWD, DWR encourages hunters to continue hunting and to electively test harvested deer. The DWR has been closely monitoring CWD prevalence and spread in northwestern Virginia (DMA1 and DMA2) since 2002. DMA3 in southern Virginia was added after a positive detection in Montgomery County in 2020. Over the past five years, the DWR has been conducting CWD surveillance across the rest of the state with the assistance of cooperating taxidermists. From 2009 to the end of the 2022-2023 hunting season, a total of 181 positive cases of CWD have been detected in Virginia, with only 11 cases in DMA3. DWR is appreciative of the support and cooperation demonstrated by taxidermists, processors, and hunters who aid in this sampling effort. This assistance is critical to the success of the ongoing statewide CWD monitoring, surveillance, and prevention efforts.
CWD has been confirmed in at least 32 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces, northern Europe, and South Korea. In North America, this incurable disease is found in deer, elk, and moose. It is a slow-acting and progressive neurologic disease that ultimately results in the death of the animal. The disease-causing agent, known as a prion, is spread through the urine, feces, and saliva of infected animals. Infected animals may not exhibit any symptoms of CWD for 16 months to two years after exposure. Clinical signs of CWD may include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss. While there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans, pets, or livestock, there is still much unknown about the potential for transmission to humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that hunters test all deer harvested from known CWD- positive areas and refrain from consuming meat from animals that test positive.
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources