ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The number of striped bass in Smith Mountain Lake is on the rise. That is good news for the thousands of anglers who target the much-valued game species, as well as for the businesses that depend on the health of the fishery.

A Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) biologist who helps to manage the striper fishery at Smith Mountain Lake says management efforts to support striped bass numbers and the forage base for the fish are paying off.

Striped bass numbers, though good, had been declining in recent years. However, those numbers are increasing.

A number of striped bass guides say they are seeing more fish, especially stripers in the 17- to 22-inch range. That is good news because it could indicate a strong base to rebuild a trophy striper fishery at Smith Mountain Lake while maintaining a quality numbers fishery.

Nearly a million anglers visit Smith Mountain Lake every year, and many of them target striped bass. The species is vital to supporting the sportfishing industry and the jobs it creates in the region.

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