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Asian carp roundup in Kentucky opens new front in battle

The large fish pose a threat to lake ecosystems and can even jump out of the water and pose a threat to boaters. One has been spotted in East Tenn.

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. 

The invasive fish 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. 

There are four different types of Asian carp--- black, bighead, grass and silver.

Their massive size and jumping ability can even pose a threat to humans. Boaters have actually been injured when they were hit by one of the large fish.

According to data compiled by The Associated Press, state and federal agencies together have spent roughly $607 million to stop them since 2004.

RELATED: TVA and wildlife officials to use new method to corral invasive Asian carp at Kentucky Lake

RELATED: Tennessee working to minimize presence of Asian Carp in lakes and rivers

Credit: TWRA
Four Asian carp species (Silver, Bighead, Black and Grass) were first found in the Mississippi River, where they are still abundant, and they migrated into Tennessee waters via locks at Kentucky and Barkley dams.

Until recently most of the effort was focused on keeping them out of the Great Lakes. Now Southern states are becoming more active. 

Tennessee wildlife officials were concerned when a fisherman reported an silver carp had jumped into his boat on Chicamauaga Lake in October. He reported seeing others in the water.

TWRA is looking at technologies to install a protective barrier in Tennessee’s reservoirs as well as subsidizing the removal of carp where they exist,”

Projects in the works are expected to push the price tag to about $1.5 billion over the next decade. 

RELATED: Invasive silver carp spotted jumping in Chickamauga Lake

RELATED: 'They have literally broken jaws' | Fisheries biologist warns against jumping silver carp threat

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