Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director
The purpose of the Commission is to address and mitigate the spread of invasive Asian carp (bighead, black, grass, and silver) in Tennessee’s waterways to conserve native fisheries and protect commercial and recreational fishing, in addition to other water-based recreational activities.
The Commission will be comprised of 10 members representing the following: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Tourist Development, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the House of Representatives will also each appoint one person to the Commission, and the governor will appoint one of the members as chair.
The Commission will be attached to the TWRA, which has been leading Asian carp management efforts in the state.
Required to meet at least twice annually until Commission terminates on June 30, 2024, the Commission is charged with providing an interim report to the governor by February 1, 2021. Included in the report will be the Commission’s findings on the effectiveness of current barriers in place to manage Asian carp and the Asian Carp Harvest Incentive Program, nonprofit and private industry partnerships, efforts of the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association, necessary steps for funding and implementing containment efforts, and the results of commercial fishing efforts.
The Commission will also prepare an annual report by October 1 each year that summarizes the Commission’s work over the past year, an assessment of the location and population size of Asian carp in the state, and other updates and policy recommendations for managing the species.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?