NORTH ALABAMA, Ala. (WHNT) – Attention anglers! The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) wants you to tell them if you spot any of these fish.
ADCNR says the bighead and silver carp “pose a potential threat to the state’s native freshwater fish habitats.”
The ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division has started posting information signs, like the one you see here, at public boat ramps along the Tennessee River to help boaters and anglers identify unwanted fish.
“Due to the threat posed by invasive carp we are working to protect the state’s aquatic resources from these invaders,” said Chris Greene, Chief of WFF’s Fisheries Section in a statement. “Currently, the areas of concern for silver carp in Alabama are the Tennessee and Tombigbee rivers. When established, these fish not only negatively impact native fishes they can also harm boaters by jumping out of the water when startled by the vibrations and noises produced by boat motors. A jumping carp strike can cause serious injury to anyone on board a vessel.”
WFF officials said the carp will outcompete the other native species for food and habitat resources, including game fish. That competition with native fish in other states is a primary concern for freshwater fisheries in Alabama, according to WFF.
WFF officials said the carp’s potential to wreak havoc on lakes, rivers, and local economies in Alabama increases as their population’s range expands further into the U.S.
The state has partnered with neighboring state and federal natural resource agencies to address the issue of invasive carp management. However, WFF fisheries biologists need help from the public in order to monitor for invasive carp.
How to Report Sighting and Harvests
If you see or catch any of these fish, WFF asks that you call them at (256) 353-2634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WFF officials need info like where did you spot it, (GPS coordinates if possible) the date, and clear pictures of the fish.
If you happen to catch one, WFF officials ask that you DO NOT release it back into the water.
For more information about invasive carp in Alabama, visit the website here.