Invasive fish species worries Shoals tourism officials

The Asian Carp/ Silver Carp could mess up the bass population in the Shoals.

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 5:25 PM

Shoals waterways could be under attack by an invasive fish species and fixing the problem could cost a lot of money.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told Florence-Lauderdale tourism officials this Asian Carp fish is in the region. The fish is known for flying over low dams and entirely disrupting the natural food chain.

"We know there is a threat there that is very real," said Florence-Lauderdale Tourism President, Rob Carnegie.

Carnegie said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently came to the Shoals and warned them about the Asian or Silver Carp.

"We know in lakes in Kentucky and Ohio where they have taken over some of these lakes are now in poor conditions for tournaments," said Carnegie.

Carnegie said the fish depletes the food source for Large and Small mouth Bass. He doesn't want that to happen in the Shoals because bass fishing tournaments bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue.

"Unfortunately what they've told us is that there is no way to completely eradicate the fish the best thing we can do is control them," said Carnegie.

Carnegie told WAAY 31 they have two options. They could install expensive sonic barriers at the locks, which haven't been proven to actually work. Or commercial fishing of the species could happen.

"That seems to be the best option but obviously there has to be incentives for these fishermen to do that," said Carnegie.

Carnegie said their plan is to ask state legislators to help them with this problem and they want to educate the public on this issue.

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