Dear Knoxville and Area News:
By now many of you have heard about the situation of the Asian carp approaching Watts Bar, Tellico and Ft. Loudon Lakes. Action needs to be taken immediately to prevent this invasion into our lakes. The effects of this invasion are devastating to the environment, the economy in this region, recreational use of the lake including boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, tubing, water skiing, which ultimately leads to a plummet in property values. These fish lay 500,000 to 5,000,000 eggs twice each year making it impossible to control the situation once they come into the lakes. We must act NOW! One way to stop them from getting into our lakes is with the construction of electric barriers at the locks or immediately is to shut down Watts Bar Lock and Ft. Loudon Lock. Time is of the essence. The entire process of getting electric barriers installed will be time intensive. The locks could be reopened after electric barriers are installed should that decision be made.
Watts Bar Ecology & Fishery Council has a website (wbefc.org) with detailed information that you may wish to check out. Dr. Timothy Joseph of this organization gave an excellent presentation at the Tellico Village Fishing Club meeting discussing much of the information in the website. There are also numerous videos on YouTube. We encourage you to read further about this devastating situation we could find ourselves in.
The only action we know of right now is to bombard our State and Federal Officials, County Executive Officers, and others by email or letters. Attached is a form letter that has been used by Tellico Village residents. Also attached are the names and addresses of the officials to send it to.
Thank you for your concern and help in this matter. We would appreciate any information you can get to the public to make them aware of the situation and what must be done to protect our lakes. Unless we act NOW, we will lose the battle to the Asian carp.
Bruce & Dolly Garnett