Spend the summer casting a line at Dan Hale Reservoir

Last updated: August 30, 2021

Conveniently located on Route 20 between Bluewell and Glenwood, the Dan Hale Reservoir offers a great outdoor experience for the entire family. The 76-acre lake is a prime fishing location for locals and visitors alike. 

Tim Hartwell, who runs the Dan Hale Reservoir, obtained a two-year lease from the Green Valley-Glenwood Public Service District to reopen the lake for public use in 2019. 

“One of my first memories at Dan Hale is probably one of the best memories. I lost a fishing tournament put on by H&S Sporting Goods by five ounces. My two friends were actually the people who beat me,” Hartwell says. (Although tournaments are not permitted with the new lease, friendly competition is natural in the sport of fishing.) 

Constructed in the late 1960s, the Dan Hale Reservoir has always been a significant spot for beginners to learn how to cast a line or experienced individuals to spend the day relaxing on the water. 

An avid angler, Hartwell was passionate about reopening the reservoir to create more fishing options in the area and give others an opportunity to make memories like he has.

Hartwell says most of his favorite times at Dan Hale include his brothers, and he hopes the reservoir will be a place for people to have some family fun while enjoying one of the area’s best fishing spots.

“I’m 60 now, and I’ve been fishing there since I was in my 20s,” Hartwell says. “Dan Hale really has some of the best fishing.”

Known as “West Virginia’s Bass Kept Secret,” the lake is stocked with several species of fish available to visitors, including bass, catfish, trout, crappie and bluegill. There are size limits for trout, crappie and bluegill, and bass is catch-and-release. Hartwell says the lake was just stocked with $1,600 worth of trout for the start of the summer season. 

Although most popular for fishing, kayaking, canoeing and boating (no gas motors) are also allowed on the lake. The reservoir was created to be a family-friendly place, Hartwell says, so the use of alcohol and profanity is prohibited. 

Along with outdoor recreation, the Dan Hale Reservoir has picnic tables and shelters located around the park that can be reserved, as well as restrooms. The bait shop and the snack and beverage concession are currently closed, and guests are encouraged to practice social distancing while at the park. 

Located near the popular hiking trails of Pinnacle Rock State Park and unique Mercer County accommodations like the Buffalo Trail Cabins, the Dan Hale Reservoir is a perfect addition to an adventurous family weekend. 

The Dan Hale Reservoir is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No fishing license is required. An all-day fishing pass costs $5 for adults and children under the age of 12 can fish for free. It costs an additional $5 to launch a boat or kayak into the lake. For more information about the Dan Hale Reservoir, call (304) 921-7158 or visit their Facebook page.