Watts Bar Lake Association https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org Providing education and stewardship for Watts Bar Lake Tue, 05 May 2020 22:42:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cropped-sunset512-32x32.png Watts Bar Lake Association https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org 32 32 Chuck Copeland Memorial Fishing Rodeo – Canceled https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/chuck-copeland-memorial-fishing-rodeo-canceled/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chuck-copeland-memorial-fishing-rodeo-canceled https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/chuck-copeland-memorial-fishing-rodeo-canceled/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 22:41:10 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1773 Chuck Copeland Memorial Fishing Rodeo – Canceled Read More »

TWRA – Chuck Copeland Kids Free Fish Day – Canceled

Hope all is well with you during these challenging times. I wanted to pass on to you that the decision has been made by our agency NOT to go forward with any public events in the foreseeable future which unfortunately includes the annual Chuck Copeland fishing rodeo at Spring City. I’m sure you understand. I have also been in contact with the town of Spring City to share the news. They wouldn’t have been comfortable with assembling such a large crowd in June either. Please share this with your association members and let them know that they are greatly appreciated and we look forward to reconvening next year and continuing this great tradition. Please let me know if I can provide any further information. Thanks to you and the WBLA for being a great partner!

Mike Jolley

TWRA Region 3

Reservoir Fisheries Manager/Biologist

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NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS Mar 10 – 19 https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/notice-to-navigation-interests-mar-10-19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=notice-to-navigation-interests-mar-10-19 https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/notice-to-navigation-interests-mar-10-19/#respond Wed, 19 Feb 2020 18:52:54 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1742 NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS Mar 10 – 19 Read More »



Due to scheduled repairs on the lower river wall armor plating at Watts Bar Lock, there will be a
series of intermittent closures to the lock 10-19 March, 2020 between the hours of 0700-1730.
The impact to commercial traffic is expected to be minimal.

Read more.

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Asian carp roundup in Kentucky opens new front in battle https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/asian-carp-roundup-in-kentucky-opens-new-front-in-battle/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=asian-carp-roundup-in-kentucky-opens-new-front-in-battle https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/asian-carp-roundup-in-kentucky-opens-new-front-in-battle/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2020 13:32:02 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1735 Asian carp roundup in Kentucky opens new front in battle Read More »

A roundup of Asian carp on Kentucky Lake using 1,000-foot-long (305 meters) nets is opening a new front in a 15-year battle to halt their advance
February 12, 2020, 3:54 AM
Asian carp are unloaded at Two Rivers Fisheries in Wickliffe, Ky.
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

GOLDEN POND, Ky. — Like a slow-motion, underwater cattle drive, wildlife officials in a half-dozen aluminum boats used pulses of electricity and sound on a recent gray morning to herd schools of Asian carp toward 1,000-foot-long (305 meters) nets.

The ongoing roundup on wind-rippled Kentucky Lake opens a new front in a 15-year battle to halt the advance of the invasive carp, which threaten to upend aquatic ecosystems, starve out native fish and wipe out endangered mussel and snail populations along the Mississippi River and dozens of tributaries.

State and federal agencies together have spent roughly $607 million to stop them since 2004, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. Projects in the works are expected to push the price tag to about $1.5 billion over the next decade.

Read more.

]]> https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/asian-carp-roundup-in-kentucky-opens-new-front-in-battle/feed/ 0 WBLA ‘River Rescue’ and Shoreline Cleanup https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/wbla-river-rescue-and-shoreline-cleanup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wbla-river-rescue-and-shoreline-cleanup https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/wbla-river-rescue-and-shoreline-cleanup/#respond Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:28:01 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1728 NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Roger Hinsdale – President


tennesseenavy at gmail.com

Watts Bar Lake ‘River Rescue’ and Shoreline Cleanup – Saturday, March 28, 2020

Read the full press release here.

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Federation Led Effort To Secure Millions for Asian Carp Fight https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/federation-led-effort-to-secure-millions-for-asian-carp-fight/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=federation-led-effort-to-secure-millions-for-asian-carp-fight https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/federation-led-effort-to-secure-millions-for-asian-carp-fight/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:15:48 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1724 >LEARN MORE: Asian carp in Tennessee’s waters Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been working hard to fight the invasive species for years. We’ve had wins …

Federation Led Effort To Secure Millions for Asian Carp Fight Read More »


Asian carp are one of the largest threats facing Tennessee’s waters, fisheries, recreation, and local economies.

>>LEARN MORE: Asian carp in Tennessee’s waters

Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been working hard to fight the invasive species for years.

We’ve had wins along the way but this winter, our efforts paid off big! A $25 million appropriation to fight Asain carp was passed in Congress and signed by the president as part of the federal budget for fiscal year 2020.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation played a leadership role in securing this appropriation.

>>LEARN MORE: How the Federation turned its focus toward funding
The Federation brought together influential people and organizations from across the region and worked hand-in-hand with lawmakers to increase the old appropriation and make it available to Southeast states, including Tennessee.

The funding will be allocated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Funds will go into barriers that limit the fish’s movement, contract fishing and commercial fishing incentives, and research more ways to control Asian carp.

Read more.

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31st Annual Ijams River Rescue https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/31st-annual-ijams-river-rescue/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=31st-annual-ijams-river-rescue https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/31st-annual-ijams-river-rescue/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2020 01:18:05 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1718 31st Annual Ijams River Rescue Read More »


The IJAMS Nature Center’s 31st Annual River Rescue event is being held on Saturday, March 28th. Please follow the link below (update soon) for additional information on the region wide effort.


In the past we’ve had between 30 and 40 folks participate in the effort on Watts Bar Lake (WBL). This year we’re spreading the word early and hope to exceed 60 volunteers. If you’re looking to have a good time, meet new friends and have a major impact on the ecology of WBL we encourage you to join us. So please invite your family/friends to spend a day outside enjoying beautiful WBL.

TVA is a big sponsor of the event and will provide bags, gloves, trash grabbers and t-shirts to those who participate. Please let me know if you are interested in joining us. Pass this link on to friends and groups who would be interested in participating.

More details to follow…

Contact us if you would like more information about volunteering for this event.


Peter Giroux
Director – Watts Bar Lake Association


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Profiting from Asian Carp? UT economist proposes plan for invasive species https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/profiting-from-asian-carp-ut-economist-proposes-plan-for-invasive-species/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=profiting-from-asian-carp-ut-economist-proposes-plan-for-invasive-species https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/profiting-from-asian-carp-ut-economist-proposes-plan-for-invasive-species/#respond Sun, 26 Jan 2020 17:33:43 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1704 Profiting from Asian Carp? UT economist proposes plan for invasive species Read More »

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Asian Carp species that invaded the Mississippi River has moved aggressively into the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

The fish reproduce quickly and have no natural predators, so if there is no intervention, they will continue to spread. The agency also reported the fish jump out of the water when they hear loud sounds and there are reports that they have injured boaters and skiers.

Read more at WVLT

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UT hosts Tennessee RiverLine summit https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/ut-hosts-tennessee-riverline-summit/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ut-hosts-tennessee-riverline-summit https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/ut-hosts-tennessee-riverline-summit/#respond Thu, 23 Jan 2020 15:05:32 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1701 UT hosts Tennessee RiverLine summit Read More »

The Tennessee RiverLine project aims to create 652-miles of continuous paddling, hiking and biking opportunities from Knoxville, Tenn. to Paducah, Ky.
Author: Grace King (10News)
Published: 7:07 PM EST January 22, 2020
Updated: 7:07 PM EST January 22, 2020
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In 2016, a University of Tennessee student had a vision to transform the Tennessee riverfront. Now, that vision is starting to become a reality.

Representatives from the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee State Parks, the National Park Service and other organizations gathered in Knoxville to discuss the next steps.

"They're thinking about the Tennessee River and their natural resources more broadly as a part of their economic future," Tennessee RiverLine director Brad Collett told 10News. "So, thinking about the opportunity for economic development through tourism, but also economic development through enhanced quality of life for the residents that will attract new businesses as well."

Read more at WBIR.

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Silver Carp in Chickamauga – WBEFC https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/silver-carp-in-chickamauga-wbefc/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=silver-carp-in-chickamauga-wbefc https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/silver-carp-in-chickamauga-wbefc/#respond Sun, 12 Jan 2020 23:46:18 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1693 Silver Carp in Chickamauga – WBEFC Read More »


The attached depressing press release shows the Silver Carp are now in Chickamauga. This is devastating news. Two years ago, when I was told by TWRA there was no evidence of Silver Carp presence in Guntersville, I replied that I was nearly certain the Silver Carp were in Guntersville, for I understand fish and how fast they move. Well, they have traversed Guntersville, Nickajack, and are now in Chickamauga.

This is horrific and disturbing news and has changed the entire WBEFC picture of the Silver Carp Threat and our approach. Though dreadful to say, I will tell you with certainty, Wheeler, Guntersville, Nickajack, and Chickamauga will feel the identical fate as is being felt today at the Land Between the Lakes. Sport fishing there is gone, tourism has severely declined, and a great deal of money is being spent every summer to subsidize commercial fisherman to remove the Silver Carp. Last summer over a million pounds of fish were removed, yet, it had no positive impact on sport fishing or tourism—they only continue their plummet. Those two lakes alone (Barkley and Kentucky Lake) have lost over $1.2 Billion of economic income annually. Depressing as it is, this is the fate of those four lakes, and there simply is no longer any way to prevent it—it will take place—indeed depressing.

There is only one option for saving Watts Bar, Melton Hill, Fort Loudon and Tellico lakes. But it stands little chance of happening, for the environment and economic engines of these four lakes that make up the Upper TN River Basin aren’t enough to make TN legislatures take immediate action. They are in Nashville, and this region represent a tiny portion of the state, thus we have little power over Nashville/State politics. Here is the only realistic option—a Four-Phased Project.


Phase-1: Close Watts Bar Lock IMMEDIATELY.

Governor Lee should declare an environmental and economic emergency and immediately close Watts Bar lock. Why? We must determine how far up Chickamauga the Silver Carp have migrated. The fish may already have reached Watts Bar lock, but hopefully they have not. This MUST be determined. It is necessary to close Watts Bar lock while TWRA determines exactly how far up the TN River the fish have migrated. Closing the lock will prevent further migration up the TN River.


It is essential to conclusively determine if the Silver Carp have entered Watts Bar. Begin an immediate and extensive sampling campaign in Watts Bar Lake. Winter is no deterrent to sampling. If the fish have not entered Watts Bar this lock will be the choice for barrier construction. If Silver Carp are found in Watts Bar, Melton Hill lock will be the alternative. Silver Carp presence or absence in Watts Bar is essential and must be conclusively determined.


Use emergency appropriations to begin speedy engineering design for an electric/bio-acoustic barrier on a ‘fast-track.’

Engineering design should begin immediately. Watts Bar and Melton Hill locks are very similar; thus, the engineering design can begin prior to knowing which lock with be fitted with the barrier. Once the presence or absence of the Silver Carp in in Watts Bar is determined, construction should begin on the Watts Bar Lock (assuming the determination that the fish have not breached the lock).


Begin the construction of the electric/bio-acoustic barrier at the Watts Bar lock. It is possible to complete construction in a three-year timeframe if on fast-track. Many of these have been constructed, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process can be quickly carried out by duplicating past barrier constructions or set aside altogether since many electric barriers have been constructed. If needed, define this activity as an emergency “Pilot” project to protect the Upper TN River Basin. Pilot projects to not need a NEPA determination.

Locks have been shut down for extended periods before for badly needed replacement and maintenance. This would produce an economic hardship for barge transport, and others, but those hardships pale in comparison to the economic and environmental hardship that will take place in the region if the Silver Carp continue up the TN River Basin. Too, the economic hardship for barge transportation and others would be temporary, while the regional economic hardship and environmental/ecological devastation brought about by the Silver Carp will be permanent, and only escalate over time.

Here are the facts as I see them.

Can we save Watts Bar, Melton Hill, Fort Loudon, and Tellico Lakes? Yes!

Will our government save our lakes? Likely No!

Why won’t they? Politics, Money, Shortsightedness, and Slow to React/Timing.

Politics and government are largely shortsighted. Long-Term impacts are often ignored in favor of short-term political gain/cost. Finding $25-$30 million today, to prevent an annual $1-Billion loss in the future is obviously the smart thing to do, but there are any number of invalid excuses, such as the lack of available funds, other more important issues/activities, and ignorance. Even though I have shown that the cost can be easily recouped over time, most politicians want immediate gratification, and are not willing to fight for long-term benefits. This is incredibly shortsighted, but it seems political fact. The Upper TN River Basin of four beautiful lakes means little to the rest of Tennessee. If they all lived on our lakes and utilized the wondrous resources, or had businesses on the lakes, you can bet things would happen, but we represent a tiny portion of a very large State, and to the rest of Tennessee, we have little meaning or clout.

I am not at all optimistic about the outcome now that the invasive Silver Carp are in Chickamauga. Things will have to happen on a Fast-Track, and that phrase is not understood by legislatures. As well, getting the government to immediately close Watts Bar lock to barge traffic is highly unlikely due to the powerful pressure from the transportation industry to keep the lock open. As well, the government legislatures and agencies are largely procrastinators. It’s so much easier for them to ignore us or put any decision off until it is too late. They simply do not know how to weigh short-term against long-term benefits/loss. Perhaps if every lake homeowner, lake user, fishermen, boater, marina and lake business owner, county commission and local politician would speak as one voice, we could get the lock closed and the project initiated, but I don’t see that happening.

Should we stop trying? Heavens NO! Our incredible lake ecosystems and the economy they afford us are worth all the effort we can muster to try and protect them. We still need to bust our butts in every way we can to save our lakes and the WBEFC will continue to fight this battle, even with incredibly low odds of success. Thus, I ask that you help in any way you can and get everyone else you can to join this battle. There may be little chance of success, but if we are indeed successful in accomplishing this, we can all pat each other’s backs and know that we have left behind the greatest legacy any of us could hope for: Saving the ecology and economy of four wondrous lakes. I’d love to be part of that legacy and the WBEFC will continue this daunting fight, no matter the odd. Please join us.

I will be traveling to Nashville again on Wed, Jan 15th to provide my PowerPoint presentation to the Senate Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee chaired by Senator Southerland. I have totally redone the presentation due to this horrible news, for everything has changed. I will present this only option to the full committee, and my understanding is that TWRA will be in attendance. I will literally beg them to take this to Governor Lee and explain the economic and ecological devastation, and show him that he has an exceptional opportunity to leave behind perhaps the greatest legacy any governor could hope for: Saving an Entire River Basin from environmental and economic devastation. All he must do is close Watts Bar lock and provide the money construct the barrier—so very easy. BUT WILL HE?????

I seriously doubt he will, but let’s hope for success.


Watts Bar Ecology and Fishery Council - Dr. Timothy Joseph

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County takes aim at invasive fish species https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/county-takes-aim-at-invasive-fish-species/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=county-takes-aim-at-invasive-fish-species https://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/county-takes-aim-at-invasive-fish-species/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2019 16:52:16 +0000 http://wattsbarlakeassociation.org/?p=1682 County takes aim at invasive fish species Read More »

by Reed John

The Rhea County Commission approved a resolution on Tuesday, asking that the state government take further measurers to stop an invasive species of fish — Asian carp — that could destroy local ecosystems and in turn hamper efforts to draw fishing tournaments to Rhea County.

At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Rhea County resident Jim Amish, who lives along Watts Bar Lake in north Rhea, asked the commission to consider the resolution, and the commission passed it unanimously.

Amish said that Asian carp pose numerous threats to boaters, the ecosystem and the local economy. He noted that the Asian carp can jump out of the water do so when hearing loud noises such as boat engines. The carp also feed on the same food as the local sports fish and have a high reproductive rate, Amish said, which could eventually destroy the local fish population. Those traits, he said, could eventually lower the population of sports fish and in turn cause fishing tournaments to look else where to hold their events.

Read more.at Rhea Herald News

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