A new video has been released on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s YouTube channel that highlights the way the BAFF system, which Fish Guidance Systems currently has installed at Barkley Lock in Kentucky, is helping contain invasive carp.

The two-minute long video demonstrates how Fish Guidance System’s innovative BAFF system, which uses a combination of sound, light and bubbles, deters the invasive species that wish to pass through the lock system.

Installed in late 2019, the system is situated below the water line on the Cumberland River, at the entrance to Barkley Lock. It is designed to stop the upstream movement of species such as bighead, silver, black and grass carp – previously known as Asian carp – with the aim of protecting the wider Mississippi river basin.

David Lambert, Managing Director of Fish Guidance Systems, stated: “We are delighted to be able to help develop, alongside the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Army Corp of Engineers, educational materials that will help grow the understanding of the invasive carp problem in the Mississippi River Basin.”

An audio described version of the video can be found here

Part of a wider project

The video is part of an ongoing drive to educate and promote the work that is being done to prevent the movement of invasive species. 

It comes in the middle of a translocation exercise, designed to mimic the movements of invasive carp in Spring, when they move upstream. The expectation is that a natural instinct to return to where they were caught will see the tagged fish attempt to challenge the BAFF.

If the system is as effective as we expect, far fewer fish from the second group will return upstream.

Initial results on the effectiveness of the BAFF system should be available by the second quarter of 2021, with full results due in 2023, at the end of a three-year trial. Once results start to filter through, other projects such as the ones recently funded by Congress in Tennessee, will allow innovative technology to make a real difference in the fight against invasive species.

An audio described version of the video can be found here and a full description of the video can be found below.

“In 2019, a Bio-Acoustic Fish Fence, or BAFF, was installed below Barkley Lock and Dam on the Cumberland River in Kentucky. The installation of the BAFF is part of ongoing research to determine the effectiveness of this technology in deterring Asian carp movement. If Asian carp are deterred from entering the lock chamber in response to the operation of the BAFF, their upstream movement and spread may be slowed. If successful, the BAFF may be utilized in various river systems, including waters leading to the Great Lakes. Project partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and the University of Minnesota. Research results are expected in 2023.”

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service