TWRA working to prevent Asian Carp from invading Tennessee waters

TWRA members met Friday at the Westin hotel in downtown Chattanooga to discuss the measures the agency is taking in order to prevent Silver Carp and Big Head Carp from swimming upstream and disturbing wildlife and any boaters while on the Tennessee River. (Image: TWRA)

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is teaming up with biologists to try and prevent Asian Carp from entering into Tennessee's rivers.

TWRA members met Friday at the Westin hotel in downtown Chattanooga to discuss the measures the agency is taking in order to prevent Silver Carp and Big Head Carp from swimming upstream and disturbing wildlife and any boaters while on the Tennessee River.

Silver Carp are notorious for jumping out of the water as high as eight feet when disturbed. That can be a problem for boaters and anyone out on the water during the warmer months. Not only does it pose as a threat to humans, but also to the ecosystem.

TWRA Chief of Fisheries Frank Fiss talked about why it is so important to get these fish out of the water.

"While they're not eating fish straight up, they will eat all the zooplankton and resources that the baby fish need to survive," said Fiss. Without the proper resources, fish of all kinds will suffer if these species make it far enough.

The Tennessee River is a major part of a lot of the businesses in Chattanooga. One local company believes if the carp disturb their customers while they're trying to have a good time, then business will decline for sure.

Captain Nate Wilson of the Chattanooga Cycle-boats is concerned for his family's sake. "So if those carp come up here and put the ecology out of balance and everything starts to get funky and people don't want to come down here, that's gonna affect my family. That's gonna put us out of business," said Wilson.

Chief Fiss also went over the ways they are attempting to keep the fish from breaking through. They plan on testing a sound barrier in the fall with the hope that it will do the trick.


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