Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order Wednesday establishing the Asian Carp Advisory Commission.
TWRA Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator Cole Harty said the Upper Cumberland has luckily not been hit hard by Asian and Silver Carp. Harty said there have been reports of Silver Carp, but not to the extent of waters like the lower Tennessee River.
“As far as the Upper Cumberland goes, you know the Tailwater area there at Cordell Hull Dam,” Harty said. “Is kind of what we believe to be the uppermost extent of the Silver Carp at this point.”
The Cordell Hull tailwater is located near Jackson and Smith Counties. Harty said there have been reports and collections of invasive carp in Old Hickory Lake, which runs up to the Cordell Hull Dam.
“The reports that we have had have been Silver Carp and the collections, recently we collected two on Old Hickory,” Harty said. “They weren’t near the Cordell Hull Dam at that point they were kind of mid-lake.”
Although the invasive carp have not been flooding into the Upper Cumberland. Harty said there are tactics to try and prevent an invasion.
“We think that with barriers combined with commercial fishing,” Harty said. “We can potentially stop the fish and then fish them down where they’re at.”
Harty said the invasive carp like to travel through lock and dam systems, when there’s boat traffic. The Silver Carp is a variety of the Asian Carp. Harty said Silver Carp are more likely to be reported because of their tendency to jump out of the water.
The invasive carp steal food from young, native fish, and can overtake waters. Which Harty said can push out native species.