ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — There is good news when it comes to the bass fishing outlook for one of the most popular reservoirs in the Roanoke region. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources reports the largemouth bass population continues to rise at Smith Mountain Lake.
Overall largemouth bass numbers are up 16%, and bass 18 inches or better are up by 38% since 2015.
State biologists say stockings have helped, but the primary reasons for the increase are good natural spawns and an improved forage base. However, additional stockings will continue at SML for the next few years to determine if they help numbers improve.
The VDWR reports smallmouth bass make up less than 10% of the Smith Mountain Lake black bass population, but still provides a major component of the fishery. Smallmouth numbers are increasing, as well.