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VA - GW How Occoquan River Shad Run

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Occoquan Regional Park

9751 Ox Rd

Lorton, VA 22079

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This is a fun and easy fishing trip. We will be targeting Shad, which are really fun to catch and action can be fast and furious. The river is also home to most other freshwater species.

Volunteers should arrive at 6:30 am, Participants - Please arrive at 7:30 to begin registration.

Heroes on the Water offers free kayak fishing excursions to injured or sick service members (and veterans) from all branches of the Armed Services as well as their family members.

Experience the peacefulness of being on the water, the thrill of fishing from kayaks, and the adventure of being outdoors while enjoying the camaraderie of hanging out with other vets, passionate volunteers, and loved ones.

We supply kayaks, fishing gear, PFDs, paddles, water, and lunch. Normally entry/launch fees are waived as well. Participants who wish to fish need to obtain a fishing license before fishing. Contact us with questions about licenses.


There is no specific location listed, where do I need to go?

Once you register we will send you an email detailing the location and special directions. You can also email us at

Do I need to provide proof of illness or injury?

No. We do ask if you have served or are/were a dependent. Our mission is to reduce stress and aid the transition to civilian life. Sometimes the results of these stresses are not diagnosed but are present none the less.

Do I need participate as part of a VA or Military medical Program?

No. We do work directly with medical facilities advertising our services, but we welcome individual participants as well. We serve all vets no matter how long ago their wounds occurred.

My husband/wife does not fish, but I want to. Can the nonfishing person join in on the fun?

Yes. Most of our events are held in locations with other amenities. There will always be some volunteers that remain on the beach, so there will be people around to socialize with; or just set up a chair and enjoy the day. If kayaks are available, we welcome participants to paddle around with the group regardless of if they are fishing or not.

Fishing Licenses

Please ask us if you need assistance in obtaining a license.

A valid Fishing License is required of all participants over 16. A Virginia Freshwater Fishing License is the easiest way to make sure it is valid. On our trips on the tidal Potomac, a Potomac River Fisheries Commission license can also be used. Virginia Licenses can be obtained here:

There are some free and reduced price options available as well but they cannot be purchased online and are found here:

If you are unable to purchase a license please contact us before the event and we will make every effort to get you licensed.

What can/can't I bring to the event?

We will be out in the elements. Weather can change quickly. We may cancel for high winds or heavy rain, but this should be rare. Because there is the possibility of getting wet, cotton clothing is discouraged, especially in cooler temperatures. Quick dry clothing will keep you the most comfortable in all conditions. Sun protection is very important on the water. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended. A change of clothes is also a good idea. Do not wear anything that cannot get wet.

We welcome families and think they are a very important part of the healing process, but we do not have the ability to supervise children. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult. Service dogs are welcome. We have several kayaks that can accommodate a service dog. We do ask that you let us know beforehand so we can make sure we are prepared.

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Occoquan Regional Park

9751 Ox Rd

Lorton, VA 22079

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