ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Here is a round-up of the latest outdoor news from across southwest and central Virginia.

Turkey Record

It was a pretty good spring season for turkey hunters in Virginia.

How good?

How about a new harvest record good?

A hunter with a Virginia turkey

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) reports 24,447 birds were taken during the spring season. That is the most since the DWR has been keeping track of turkey hunting harvests.

Big Bass

According to the DWR, there is more bass over four pounds in Smith Mountain Lake than there have been in the past decade. One reason why is the introduction of F1 hybrid largemouths. F1 hybrids are a cross between a Florida strain bass and a northern strain bass.

The genetics of a Florida strain bass predispose them to grow faster and larger.

Smith Mountain Lake is slated to get a stocking of another 75,000 F1 fingerlings on June 15. Captain’s Quarters owner Dewayne Lamb has been involved in the F1 stocking program since it started nine years ago.

“They grow on average, one to one and a quarter pounds a year,” Lamb said. “That’s why we’re seeing a lot of nine-pound fish, right now because they’re nine years old.”

A big Smith Mountain Lake Largemouth

Lamb says the majority of fish from this F1 stocking will be placed from Becky’s Creek north above the Hales Ford Bridge.

Catch Dinner

Looking catch fish for a fish fry? You are in luck. This is the time of year that channel catfish become very active around the commonwealth. While they may not be pretty, they are one of the tastiest fish around, and in Virginia, their numbers are solid and sustainable.

The DWR has produced a how-to video to help you target channel cats.

Kim Rohr shows off a nice eater-sized channel catfish

Catching them is not complicated. All you need is a basic rod and reel combo, a hook, a weight, bait like nightcrawlers, commercial dough baits, or cut bait like shad, eel, or shiners.

Virginia Trout Program

Virginia’s annual trout stocking program has come to a close until autumn. The DWR stocks various lakes and streams around the state from October through May. Harvest restrictions have been lifted on Delayed Harvest Waters. After June 1, trout may be legally taken and kept from those bodies of water.

A brightly colored rainbow trout caught in Virginia

Locally, the Roanoke River at Greenhill Park in Salem is a Delayed Harvest Water.