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Transporting Bait---We dodged a bullet with TWRA

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On Thursday and Friday of last week, October 20 and 21, the TWRA commission met and discussed the transportation of bait, specifically gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and skipjack, relative to the Asian carp problem which has started in West Tennessee.

 

The TWRA chief of fisheries made certain recommendations in Proclamation 18-12 which would only limit the transportation of bait in portions of Regions 1 and 2.   One of the Commissioners attempted to modify the recommendation to extend the recommendation to the entire state.  The Fisheries Committee did not support the recommendation, and approved the Proclamation as written. 

 

Overnight, there was much debate and lobbying to support a statewide ban on bait transportation.  Tons of behind the scene work was done.  Steve Nichols, Ezell Cox, Jay Girardot, David Powell, Roy Hawk, Gary Harris, Kenny Witt, Doug Steffe, Joe Asher, Mel Cook, and Jim Durham, and several others jumped on board and worked hard to oppose the statewide prohibition.  Several of us attended the meeting on Friday before the full commission, expecting that a voice modification to the Proclamation would be made.  Although the two commissioners who were supporting a statewide ban spoke against the Proclamation as written, there was no voice amendment made and as of now, the ban on transportation only affects portions of Region 1 and 2.

 

This issue will resurface soon.  We need to be vigilant in making sure that we are not part of the problem, and self-police to stop unlawful transportation of bait.  We can be our own worst enemy here.  Asian carp may work their way upstream, but we don't need to be part of the problem.

 

Thanks for all that worked hard on real short notice.  It was truly a group effort.  And a big thanks to the TWRA staff for their recommendations and research with this problem.

 

Below is the text from the TWRA website re the Proclamation.

 

Several of the new fishing regulations are geared toward the agency’s effort to battle the invasive Asian carp.

In TWRA Region I and II, skipjack herring, gizzard shad, and threadfin shad will not be able to be transported alive from the Mississippi River and Barkley, Kentucky, and Pickwick reservoirs and any tributaries or oxbows of these waters. The restrictions do not apply to the Duck River above Normandy Dam.

These bait species are similar in appearance to small Asian carp. This change is aimed to reduce the risk of accidentally introducing Asian carp into new waterways.  

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Keep up the good work.

 

The only thing I know for certain is we do not want any of the problems associated with Asian Carp.

 

It's practically destroyed the economy on Ky Lake. Trying to fish where these invasives 

have become such a problem can be risky. I've heard nightmares of fish jumping in the boat and whacking folks on the head.

 

Bow fishing tournaments reporting several thousand  lbs of the Asian Carp killed haven't even scratched the surface. They can't kill them fast enough and the processing companies are saying the fish represent low margins.

 

Hopefully a solution can be found.

 

 

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100 ft would be a lot even if the carp was pole vaulting !     I agree with you Rusty, that would help.  It's a problem that needs fixed. Not just us fishing folks but  entire communities are hurting . Hotels, restaurants, bait and tackle shops, recreational users and the entire economy takes a hit.

 

I've read some, not a lot, about Asian carp. Read where it is main ingredient for some dishes. Imitation crab was on the list.  Should be a market for them somewhere.

 

 

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Interestingly enough, TWRA has been unable to identify any Asian Carp reproduction in the Tennessee waters, so says Frank Fiss, TWRA chief of fisheries.  Life cycle is apparently like a striper and the eggs have to have a float for about 48 hours.  They are also apparently temperature sensitive, all of which should help with controlling them beyond where they are.

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Like Ken said , this is not over, " This issue will resurface soon.  We need to be vigilant in making sure that we are not part of the problem, and self-police to stop unlawful transportation of bait.  We can be our own worst enemy here." And as Tubejig said " Not just us fishing folks but  entire communities are hurting . Hotels, restaurants, bait and tackle shops, recreational users and the entire economy takes a hit.

Again thanks to all for everyone's help , is was and is a group effort.  Sorry the pic's aren't to good , there is video of the meeting somewhere, probably TWRA site.

 

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Edited by Snichols
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Ezell. That is from eating too much Rock fish!  Crappie did the same to my belly>  LOL   dada 9-29-18 8:47 AM

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