TWRA battling invasive carp in Tennessee waterways, issues updated report

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – According to a press release issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the TWRA, in coordination with the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee, is working to combat Asian carp, an invasive species, in Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

When they spread to a body of water, Asian carp seriously threaten native fish populations, although the TWRA says that they have not yet disrupted native populations in Tennessee.

“Fortunately, the current population density of Asian carp has not had any measurable impacts to our sport fish populations,” Frank Fiss, head of TWRA’s Fisheries Division, said in the press release. “However, that could change if the carp populations become more prolific as they move upstream in the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

The Tennessee General Assembly’s Asian Carp Task Force, chaired by State Rep. Tim Wirgau, acquired $75,000 to purchase equipment to cull the invasive fish. As a result, more than one million pounds of Asian carp were culled in 2016, according to the updated report on Asian carp populations in Tennessee.

The TWRA is also working with the Tennessee Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit at Tennessee Tech University, according to the release, to continue monitoring the situation.