Invasive Carp Are Mysteriously Dying In Tennessee Lakes, And Wildlife Officials Have Mixed Emotions | Nashville Public Radio

Invasive Carp Are Mysteriously Dying In Tennessee Lakes, And Wildlife Officials Have Mixed Emotions

Apr 27, 2017

Thousands of fish have been showing up dead on the banks of two Tennessee lakes. The fish are silver carp, an invasive species and target of an intense, nationwide eradication effort. But wildlife authorities are still worried as to why so many are dying off. 

The dead fish have been appearing along the shorelines of the Kentucky and Barkley lakes, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating the cause.

“While we are trying to learn how to slow or stop their expansion, the recent die-off of thousands of fish for whatever reason has occurred naturally,” said Frank Fiss, Chief of TWRA’s Fisheries Division. “We have collected samples of the dead fish and sent them to a lab to identify the cause of the disease. This type of analysis is not always conclusive, but we are trying to gather as much information as possible.”

The Asian carp have been negatively impacting native species. They're also dangerous to boats because the fish, which can weigh up to 40 pounds, are known to jump out of the water as motors hum by.

TWRA says the die off does not seem to be affecting other fish.