Asian Carp Update Presented At December TFWC Meeting

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission received an update on Asian carp among its agenda items at the final meeting of the calendar year which concluded Friday.

The TFWC met for the first time at Lone Oaks Farm in Hardeman County near Bolivar and Middleton, which is operated by the University of Tennessee.      

Frank Fiss, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division chief, presented an update on Asian carp. Four species of Asian carp are found in Tennessee waterways which are the silver, bighead, black and grass carp.

TWRA works with other state and federal agencies to control these species, especially in the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers where there is still time to protect upstream reservoirs. Fiss said ongoing activities include planning for carp-specific sound barriers at locks, tracking the movements of carp through locks with acoustic tags and receivers, supporting the commercial harvest of carp, and monitoring the abundance of adult and juvenile carp.

Current control strategies rely heavily on commercial harvest and the installation of carp barriers at locks to reduce their impacts on aquatic resources and recreational activities. Ongoing monitoring and research will evaluate these strategies and possibly identify more effective strategies.   

Dave Chanda, from the Recreational Boating Fishing Foundation (RBFF) was a guest at the meeting. His presentation included current trends and national efforts from the foundation to involve the public in fishing and boating. A special point of emphasis is to introduce youth to fishing.

Chiefs from five agency divisions brought forward a number of budget expansions so the agency can accept funds from other sources. There is no increase in of license dollars included in the expansions.

Among the projects to be funded include the removal and replacement of a pier deemed unsafe at Paris Landing State Park. TVA and Brookfield Renewable will provide grants for hatchery improvements. Another includes a 100 federal percent funding for land acquisition of 82 acres at Catoosa Wildlife Management Area located in the Upper Cumberland region. Another expansion, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Superfund Grants, comes for habitat and hunter access projects on statewide WMAs.

Pandy English, Biodiversity assistant chief, presented the in-need of management, threatened, and endangered species list rule. The commission passed the rule in a vote.

Hardeman County Mayor Jimmy Sain was also in attendance and welcomed the TFWC to the area. Ben West, from Lone Oaks and the University of Tennessee, also welcomed the TFWC and gave a brief presentation on the Lone Oaks Farm operation.

The next TFWC meeting will be held Jan. 18-19, in Nashville.


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