Tigers, bears and hikes in the Roanoke area

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – There are tigers prowling Virginia. No, not big cats. The type of tigers we are talking about are trout.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) stocks tiger trout in a number of Commonwealth waterways. The tiger trout is a hybrid cross of a female brown trout and a male brook trout. They are brightly colored with pronounced stripes, hence the name tiger.

The tiger trout stocking program is experimental. DWR is trying to assess how well they survive as they are voracious eaters and could improve trout fishing opportunities. They will be stored in a number of waterways, including streams in Alleghany, Rockbridge, Bath and Highland counties. The DWR has a webpage dedicated to the program.

Hunting numbers published

DWR has released fall hunting harvest figures for deer, bears and turkeys.

Stag 190,582
Bear 2,988
Turkeys 1,644
Fall 2021 DWR data

These figures are down from the previous year. Despite this, the DWR indicates that populations of all three species are robust. Wildlife managers say the hot, dry fall played a role in lower harvests. Another factor was an abundance of acorns. With so many acorns available as food, the animals didn’t have to go far, so the hunters might not have seen many.

To take a walk

As warmer weather and spring approach, expect more hikers on the area’s trails. The Roanoke area is one of the best in the country for hiking. While experienced hikers know where to go and how to get there, beginners can get lost.


Visitroanokeva.com published an online guide to hiking in the Roanoke area. It provides information on the top 10 hikes in the area.

Fancy a bit of wildlife with your hike?

DWR has an online guide to the Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail and how you can hike and explore various parts of the state. These trails pass through areas known for bird and wildlife viewing.