Invasive/Exotic Species in Tennessee
Help limit the spread of invasive/exotic (non-native) species!
A number of non-native species are waiting to destroy Tennessee's aquatic ecosystems. Invasive plants, fish, crayfish, snails, mussels, or parasites can destroy existing aquatic communities when they enter a new river or reservoir. Many of these invaders have already entered our borders, so don’t help them get around.
- Never release live bait of any kind into the water.
- Never move fish or aquatic plants from one body of water to another. “Bait bucket” introductions have caused the spread of many nuisance species in Tennessee such as blueback herring and alewife. The stocking of even a single bass could accidentally introduce a new disease into a system.
- Drain all bilge water before leaving the ramp.
- Inspect your hull and remove any clinging debris, particularly plant material.
- Clean your boat and other accessories that contact the water with; 1) >140F hot water, or 2) a 10% solution of bleach or saltwater solution (1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon of water). Do this away from the water so the runoff does not pollute the river and always follow a solution wash with a fresh water rinse, or 3) A pressurized steam cleaning unit.
- Rinse the bilge, live well system, and bait buckets with a chlorine or salt solution.
- Dry your boat and trailer for at least a week in hot, dry weather before entering another waterway. Allow additional drying time in cool weather.
- Always wash your waders and other gear with hot water and allow them to dry completely between trips from one river system to another. This includes allowing the felt soles to dry which may take a day or so. Follow these precautions especially if you have recently fished out-of-state because there are a number of exotics that could devastate Tennessee fisheries if they where introduced.
Rusty Crayfish (242 k)
It is illegal to possess or transport live specimens of the following in Tennessee:
|Bighead Carp (816 k)||Extremely prolific species of "Asian carp" that poses a significant threat to native ecosystems by disrupting the food chain. Can grow to four feet and may exceed 100 pounds. Immature bighead carp are easily misidentified as shad. (Poster)|
|Black Carp (450 k)||Also known as "snail carp" or "black amur" that poses a threat to native mussels.|
|Blueback Herring||Releasing bait fish such as blueback herring can upset the balance of fish communities.|
|New Zealand Mud Snail (99 k)||This snail has become so abundant in some trout waters that they have displaced the native food supply for trout. Don’t let them ruin your trout streams, keep your waders clean!|
|Round Goby (1,312 k)||Competes with native, bottom dwelling fish such as sculpins and darters.|
|Rudd (57 k)||Disrupts spawning and nursery habitats of native species.|
|Ruffe (215 k)||Displaces native species and shown to reduce populations of yellow perch and emerald shiners.|
|Silver Carp (609 k)||This species of "Asian carp" is known for its explosive leaping abilities and poses a serious threat to boaters and aquatic communities. They have the potential to disrupt native food chains. Immature silver carp are easily misidentified as shad. (Silver Carp Video) (Poster) (Picture)|
|Snakeheads (99 k)||Popular aquarium trade species that can live several days out of water. A top level predator that can quickly impact native fish populations through predation or displacement. (Picture) (ID)|
|Swamp Eels (78 k)||Predator that eats a variety of animals including crayfish, frogs, and other fishes. Breathes air and in addition can achieve up to 25% of respiration through the skin.|
|Zebra Mussels (1,060 k)||These mussels have the potential to overwhelm aquatic communities and create costly problems for water supply and power projects. Help slow the spread of zebra mussels by following the boat cleaning guidelines.|
For more information about the dangers of exotic species: http://www.protectyourwaters.net/
For more information about asian carp: http://asiancarp.us/