Tennessee Wildlife Federation and Anglers Bill Dance, Rusty Rust and others Wage War on Asian Carp


Chris Young hosted his 3rd annual The Legends Cast For a Cure Big Bass Tournament & Party in the Park today, Saturday June 1 at Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville, Tenn. This is Chris Young’s third year in a row.

Chris was joined today by legendary anglers Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin, as well as country stars Drew Baldridge, Tyler Reeve and Alabama’s Jeff Cook.

Chris Young Host 3rd Annual Cast For a Cure Bass Tournament with Anglers Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin and Rusty Rust.

The event featured live music from Philip White and the Wilson Brothers Band, a silent auction, family-friendly activities, photo opportunities and more.

Since the tournament’s inception, more than $60,000 has been raised for cancer research. All proceeds will benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation.

Anglers Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin present awards at the 3rd annual Chris Young Cast for a Cure.

I was invited by my friend and angler Rusty Rust to attend the tournament today. As a state lawmaker I have been working with Rusty to bring awareness to improving our area lakes and improve fishing for tournaments. Many may not realize that bass and fishing tournaments are an economc boom to our state and cities which play host to these tournaments. The added tax dollars to their coffers are music to those city leader’s ears.

Rusty Rust's Fishin' Affliction episode #241 aired from Fate Sanders Marina in Smyrna

Needless to say, Rusty is very passionate and has been emphasizing the economic impacts of tournaments as well as the treat of Asian carp to me and others for many years. When these anglers visit our state they fill up their gas tanks in both their trucks and boats, stay overnight in local hotels, eat at area restaurants and more.

“Asian carp is a threat to our rivers and streams Mike Sparks it won’t be long before they are in your Percy Priest lake right in Smyrna,” said angler Rusty Rust.”

Angler Bill Dance speaks to angler Rusty Rust, Tn State Representative Mike Sparks and Tn General Assembly Research Analyst Marvin Williamson about the serious threat of Asian carp.

Bill Dance, Rusty Rust and many other anglers have been sounding the alarm of the invasive fish known as Asian Carp. They stress that the carp are a serious threat to our rivers and lakes. The amount of bass are dwindling from what they were just a few short years ago. The consensus among anglers is that they all agree that Asian carp are posing a very serious threat to nearly every fishery in the central United States.

Working together with both Tennessee and Kentucky officials, anglers and celebrities like Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, TWRA and others are vowing to keep up the fight against Asian carp.

Beginning this year, the Tennessee River locks at Kentucky Lake are scheduled to close to barges as a new locking system is put in place as part of a maintenance project. Such will temporarily hold up the invaders. They say the fish are getting in through the locking of commercial vessels.

The battle they know may be an uphill one. The battle is being fought at the local, state and even at the federal levels. They hope to get lawmakers attention in both Kentucky, Tennessee and in Washington.

To wage this battle and win the war on Asian carp state fisheries biologists in the region have long known their resources were limited.

Both Tennessee and Kentucky have been working together recently but what they needed was a combined effort of state and federal agencies getting together on the same page. Without that cooperation biologists in both states have long known the hill was too steep to climb on their own.

To make a positive impact on the Asian carp invasive threat it will take efforts from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Anglers and others should rally and get onboard to curb this serious threat.


Asian Carp in Tennessee’s Waters

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, the Asian carp invasion has taken over the Mississippi River system—and it has moved aggressively into the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems.

Asian carp are a serious threat to our aquatic ecosystems, recreation, and economy. The public must do its part to prevent the accidental spread of Asian carp while calling on elected officials to support policies aimed at managing this threat.

Angler Steve Cochan’s thoughts on Asian Carp:

Mike was nice talking with you the other day I’ll try an give you something not very good at this lol.

I am not a fish biologist just a bass angler on Ky. Lake. With my take on the invasive Asian Carp our bass fishing is the worst I’ve ever seen on this lake in close to 20yrs I’ve been fishing here.

I believe it’s the struggle the bass are having finding food an trying to compete against these annoying carp. Not to mention how they jump out of the water is dangerous to boaters,skiers swimmers,children on tubes being pulled behind boats.

Angler Steve Cochran says, He is extremely concerned about the infestation of Asian carp.

I fished with my buddy Dennis Hollis in the Triton Owners this past weekend and it was the hardest time weve had on this lake. We caught 115 

inch bass in two days an we caught over 20 bass all but 1 were short I almost got hit in the face by a carp that looked like a 15 lb fish. Our one bass weighed 1.88 an we beat 93 boats that’s pretty bad for Kentucky Lake, 90 boats didnt catch a single keeper in two days.

Mike i hope some of this helps your cause keep up the good work an stay safe”

~ Steve Cochran- Paris Landing, Tennessee

Take a moment to tell your legislators you’re worried about damages caused by Asian carp and the urgent need for funding and efforts to stop the threats they pose to people, native fish, and habitats.

Fighting Back Against Invasive Carp

Asian carp include four invasive species—silver, bighead, grass, and black carp—that were brought to the United States in the 1970s to help maintain ponds used for aquaculture. Floods and transport by people spread the fish to our reservoirs, lakes, and river systems. The species very rapidly spread on its own and inadvertently by anglers mistaking them for bait fish.

Asian carp reproduce quickly, have no natural predators, devour food sources native fish need, and devastate habitats. Asian carp, which can grow up to 100 pounds, also threaten boaters’ safety. Silver carp are known to jump when disturbed by boats, striking passengers and causing serious injuries.

If left unaddressed, Asian carp will continue to spread throughout our waterways. As the species’ range expands, so will their destruction of native aquatic wildlife–from endangered muscles to bass and other sport fish. Asian carp degrade the quality of waters, making them less attractive to the anglers that help fuel countless local economies across the state. And as anglers stop buying licenses, the state wildlife agency loses critical funding for wildlife conservation of all types. Recreational boaters are also driven away by the threat of jumping silver carp, further damaging local economies.

Elected officials at the state and federal levels have collaborated with Tennessee Wildlife Federation to help shape and pass bills and budget requests. And Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has devoted resources to studying and monitoring Asian carp, as well as testing barriers.

But a greater response is needed from all sectors to meet this challenge. We must continue to ask our state and federal leaders to provide the tools and increased funding needed to remove Asian carp from our waters and prevent them spreading. Individuals can also take the Stop Asian Carp Pledge to do their part to report and slow down this damaging invasive species.

To contact the Tennessee Wildlife Federation email them at tnwf.org or call them at (615) 353-1133.