New wildlife commissioners get briefed on carp invasion

Friday, March 31, 2017

NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission held its March meeting that featured five new commissioners and the first meeting chaired by Jamie Woodson.

The one-day meeting was held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.

The new commissioners introduced were Angie Box (Jackson, TFWC District 8), Brian McLerran (Moss, District 3), Kent Woods (Kodak, District 2), Dennis Gardner (Lakeland, Statewide), and James Stroud (Dyersburg, Statewide).

Frank Fiss, Chief of Fisheries, presented an update on Asian carp that have invaded Tennessee’s waterways. Wild populations of black, grass, bighead, and silver carp have established populations in the Mississippi River, and grass, silver and bighead carp have already entered the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems.

Fiss said during his presentation that TWRA always reminds anglers that these invasive species should never be used as live bait, because this could spread them into additional waters. Control efforts are currently limited to commercial fishing.

TWRA fisheries managers lack some critical information about the movements and population dynamics of these species, according to Fiss. TWRA recently secured federal funding and will be partnering with the Tennessee Tech University to conduct research needed to learn more about future control strategies beyond commercial fishing.