The York River begins at the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers, east of Richmond Virginia. Along its path, the York flows approximately 34 miles before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay east of Yorktown.
Since 1955, VIMS Fish Surveys have recorded more than 130 fish species in the York River. The upper York is inhabited by three species of catfish; blue, channel, and white.
The York River provides important spawning habitat for a variety of anadromous fish including American shad, hickory shad, river herring, Atlantic sturgeon, and striped bass. The river also sustains populations of blue crabs, oysters, and other marine life.
Croaker Landing, located in York River State Park, is one of the river’s most popular access points. The facility includes a boat launch dock, a 360-foot fishing pier, parking, restrooms, and shoreline access.
In the lower York, anglers catch croakers, spot, weakfish, silver perch, bluefish, flounder, and other species. As the river approaches the Chesapeake Bay, encounters with cobia, black drum, sandbar sharks, cownose rays, southern stingrays, and other saltwater species become more common.
In Gloucester Point, Virginia, Gloucester Point Landing Fishing Pier provides pier fishermen with access to the York. Nearby, a public pier along the Yorktown waterfront is a popular area for fishing and crabbing.