Over the last two months, Dr Teresa Lewis, Director at the USFWS Midwest Fisheries Center, has delivered two presentations on the effectiveness of the BAFF (BioAcoustic Fish Fence) currently installed on the Cumberland River, at Barkley Lock, Kentucky.

‘Promising’ Results

The first presentation, given to Tennessee’s Asian Carp Advisory Commission in April was followed by a further presentation to the Mississippi Subbasin Partnerships. In both presentations results were described as ‘promising,’ although preliminary results have not been publicly released.

In both presentations, participants were talked through the methods used to tag both invasive and native fish using HTI and Vemco telemetry tags. Vemco tags collect the movement of fish in one dimension whereas HTI tags track in two dimensions, thus allowing the team to assess the effectiveness of the BAFF.

Future Tagging Plans

The current plan is to use both types of tag on Silver carp each spring and fall of the study, as well as on native fish. These native fish include Paddlefish, Smallmouth Buffalo and Freshwater Drum. The tags will be used in the following way:

HTI Tags:

  • 300 Silver carp per season
  • Tag through fall 2022
  • Translocating the fish from above to below the BAFF
  • Provides 2D positioning


  • 135 fish, mostly native, per season
  • Tag through fall of 2022
  • No translocation
  • 1D positioning

In addition to the tagging, the participants of both  Tennessee’s Asian Carp Advisory Commission and the Mississippi Subbasin Partnerships were shown results from the interactions between Invasive Carp and the BAFF – as of the time of writing these results have not been publicly released. Future plans may also include the tagging of further fish up to 1800 for HTI tagging and 810 for Vemco.

A National Problem

Invasive carp pose a major threat to the freshwater ecosystem throughout the Mississippi basin. FGS recently worked with partners to improve the performance of the BAFF situated at Barkley Lock and further information on that work can be found here

A Quarter Century of Experience

Fish Guidance Systems have over 25 years of experience in the acoustic fish deterrent industry and are responsible for the development of the equipment and proprietary sound that is currently being used on site. 

David Lambert, Managing Director of Fish Guidance Systems stated “We are very pleased with the results from Barkley Lock. We have known for years the potential effectiveness of a BAFF system but up until now it has only been in academic or laboratory trials. We look forward to working with our partners on this and future trials.”

Further Information

Interested parties can find further information on invasive carp, and the work FGS is doing to help deal with this national crisis using the resources below.