The lock chamber of the Lake Barkley tailwater in western Kentucky has closed to fishing, bowfishing and boat anchoring in order to protect an experimental barrier being installed to block movement of Asian carp into the lake.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is one of several agencies and partners involved with an extensive research project to investigate the effectiveness of a bio-acoustic fish fence (BAFF) to deter Asian carp from moving through the lock chambers of dams. Plans call for the device to become operational during the first week of November.
The device uses a combination of bubbles, sound and light to create an underwater curtain, which could discourage these invasive carp from entering the lock chamber. Since the acoustics and air system needs protection from potential damage from hooks, arrows and weights, fishing access is restricted within 200 feet of the BAFF system.
Signs are being posted to advise boaters of the protective zone, which is allowed under Kentucky Fish and Wildlife regulations.
The test of this experimental system will last at least three years. If successful, the technology could be deployed in other rivers as a permanent deterrent to the upriver migration of Asian carp.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife previously hosted meetings to inform the public of the experiment and the need to establish a restricted area. The department received no negative comments about restricting a small portion of water below the lock chamber.