The frontiers of the fight against invasive carp are not just contained within the hotspots of states like Kentucky, Iowa and Illinois. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AGFC) has recently set up an invasive carp removal team on the White River that caught 320lb of carp on its first day of operation.

Ambitious targets have been set by the AGFC – 250,000 pounds of invasive carp per year –  highlighting the true spread, and effort required, to control invasive carp in an area not traditionally associated with the problem

The main focus of infrastructure projects aimed at curtailing the spread of invasive carp can be seen at Barkley Lock, Kentucky and other projects in Iowa and Illinois but it seems there might be need for further measures sooner rather than later in Lower Mississippi states such as Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Invasive Carp Biologist Jimmy Barnett stated the serious of the problem facing the ‘Wonder State’

“We’re focused on the White River right now and will work on it until it reaches flood stage, then we’ll shift our efforts to the Arkansas River, we want to make the best use of daily conditions, and right now the White is low enough to get some work done.”

Federal Funding

The current project in Arkansas was made possible by $1.2 million dollars in funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The amount is made up of four separate grants, including some money set aside specifically for the fighting of invasive carp.

This new funding, specifically for the Lower Mississippi states, was made possible by a change to funding rules in 2020 after both local and political entities demonstrated the issues facing Lake Barkley, Kentucky – where FGS and partners are currently trialing an innovative BioAcoustic Fish Fence (BAFF), designed to deter fish from heading further upstream.

“New language allowed funding to be focused on the Lower Mississippi Basin, which includes the Arkansas, Red, White and Mississippi Rivers in Arkansas.” Barnett stated.

Innovative Solutions On Trial

The use of removal teams can be a great way to help stop the spread, but once numbers reach a certain level, more innovative approaches are required. Fish Guidance Systems is working to both advise on and install BAFF systems in several states to help stop the spread of invasive carp. To find out more about our work, please visit our minisite – or contact us at [email protected].