Army Corps to build carp barriers along Tennessee rivers to stop the spread of carp that escaped from aquaculture ponds

Representational imagestux

Asian carp, native to China, was first introduced into the United States in the early 1960s and 70s as a method to control nuisance algal blooms. By the 1980s, the species had escaped aquaculture ponds and spread into local water bodies. Researchers fear an invasion of Tennessee's rivers would threaten its native fish species as the carps compete with native fish species for food.

Army Corps. of Engineers will pick 10 projects to study different deterrent methods they can set up around a few of the dams on the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems. Whichever method proves to be the most effective against the invasive carp and harmless to the native fish, could become the standard for other projects.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation CEO Michael Butler said:

It has different species of mussels that are globally rare and only occur in the Duck River. This fish feeds exclusively on mussels and has the real opportunity to mess things up. The pilot program for the USACE to explore these barriers was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. There hasn’t been federal funding tied to implementing the barriers, which remains a future challenge.

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