As we begin to approach the two year milestone of the installation of the BioAcoustic Fish Fence at Barkley Lock, Kentucky, Fish Guidance System wanted to highlight the monumental effort that has been required by so many parties to deliver such a groundbreaking project.

In this article we will highlight some of the key names in the political arena that have supported the project and allowed Fish Guidance Systems to demonstrate the BAFF’s usefulness and viability in helping tackle invasive carp.

Creating a political need

In addition to engaging and partnering with federal organisations such as US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corp of Engineers, among others, it is also important to ensure that political influencers in the area are also engaged.  Senators and local executives represent the people who will benefit most from a successful campaign to remove the threat of Invasive carp species – the fisherman and local business owners who rely on a diverse native fish population.

In addition, funding and expenditure of public money always requires political support and FGS are already helping other areas of the country with research and proposals to install further barriers.  Below is a case study of some of the politicians who have publicly advocated for the BAFF system at Barkley Lock. 

Barkley Lock’s Political Advocates

Lyon County Judge/Executive Wade White 

Judge-Executive Wade White is the executive of Lyon County – the administrative district in which Barkley Lock is situated. As the executive of the county, Judge-Executive White has been proactive and engaged in the results of the BioAcoustic Fish Fence and the invasive carp issue as a whole.

Back in July 2021, Judge-Executive White relayed the first preliminary results from the project and has recently been positive about the removal of invasive carp from the Cumberland River.

Having successfully run for three terms he recently announced that he will not be seeking a fourth.

Republican Senate Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, US Senator for Kentucky

In 2019, Senator Mitch McConnell, then Majority Senate Leader, switched on the BioAcoustic Fish Fence at Barkley Lock and stated that reducing invasive carp was his ‘number one priority for Western Kentucky.’

Earlier in 2019, McConnell’s had requested the use of the advanced “Unified Method of Fishing,” which uses electronic technology aid in extraction of invasive carp from the water with specialized nets.

Wider Political Support Needed

Invasive carp is becoming a wider national issue, with recent sightings of the species in Texas, Oklahoma and South Dakota, we urge any state within the wider Mississippi Basin to contact our team to see how Fish Guidance can help support your plans to tackle invasive carp.