ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Here is a round-up of the latest outdoor news from across southwest and central Virginia.
40,000 Trout Euthanized
A parasite found in rainbow trout at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) Marion State Fish Hatchery has led to 40,000 catchable-size trout being euthanized. The parasite is responsible for Whirling Disease. The ailment causes fish to be disfigured and to swim in a whirling motion. It is fatal for trout.
The DWR did not want to take a chance of passing the parasite to stocked and wild trout populations around the commonwealth, so the affected and exposed trout were killed out of an abundance of caution.
The action means there will be a five percent reduction in statewide trout stockings and a 20 percent decrease in stockings in far southwest Virginia counties. DWR stocks waterways around the state from October to June.
Whirling Disease presents no threat to humans.
Deer Hunt Preview
The start of the official deer firearms season in Virginia is November 18, archery season is already underway. Projections from the DWR are good. There are good numbers of deer across the commonwealth, with some counties in the Blue Ridge region experiencing an overabundance.
Deer are expected to range this fall because of poor acorn production. That means the animals will move to find food bringing them into contact with hunters more often. That is just the opposite of last year when acorn production was high and deer did not range as widely.
One impact of low acorn production is some deer may be thinner than normal.
Bears are also on the move at this time of year to find food and establish ranges. One black bear has recently been spotted in the Niagara Road area of Vinton. The area is suburban and bears plenty of cover and plenty of trash cans to forage in.
The bear was caught on camera going through a garbage can.
Black bears usually present no threats to people unless startled, cornered, ill, or injured. If you see a bear, give it a wide berth. Move slowly away from the bear, and laterally, if possible, because that sort of movement is considered less threatening. If confronted by a bear, try to make yourself look as big as possible and make plenty of noise.
If bears are around, lock up trash bins and do not put pet food outside.