carpjump

Invasive Asian carp present a hazard to boaters when they leap from the water. LARRY WOODY

Tennessee will form a special commission to study the growing problem of invasive Asian carp.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is already investing considerable resources into combating the carp problem, and it is unclear what the new state commission will contribute.

The carp arrived in Tennessee a couple of decades amid flooding along the Mississippi River. Since then, they spread rapidly across West Tennessee and into Middle Tennessee. They represent a serious threat to the food chain of native species by feeding on plankton and microbes that smaller forage fish rely on. Native fish rely on the forage fish.

The other concern is the hazard the carp sometimes present to boaters. Weighing as much as 25 pounds, they often leap high in the air when disturbed by a boat motor and are known to collide with boaters and water skiers, resulting in serious injuries.

The TWRA partnered with commercial fishermen at Kentucky Lake to encourage more netting of the fish, and is also experimenting with ways to impede river migrations. There is no way to remove the fish once they invade an area; all that can be done is to try to control their numbers and halt their further spread.

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Gun show: The R.K. Lebanon Gun Show will be Oct. 17-18 at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. Saturday’s hours will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday’s hours will be from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $10.

Additional information and pre-order tickets are available by visiting the R.K. Lebanon Gun Show website.

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Hunter education online: The TWRA is offering a new online option for taking the hunter education class, mandatory for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969, to get a hunting license.

With the pandemic forcing cancelation of most hunter education in-person classes, they can be taken online, and students can forego the previously required four-hour field day. For details about enrollment, visit hunter-ed.com/Tennessee.

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Local CWD tests: Area hunters are asked to drop off harvested deer heads at a locker at Cedars of Lebanon State Park to be tested for chronic wasting disease.

Hunters can drop them off during regular park hours. If that’s not possible, they can be dropped off the following day. They will be collected by a biologist and shipped off for testing. So far, no cases of the deadly deer disease were found in Middle Tennessee.

Email area outdoors news and photos to larrywoody@gmail.com. Include a contact phone number.

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