Posts Tagged: barkley dam

Asian Carp and the Lock Chambers of Barkley Dam

In the Barkley Dam tail waters working inside the gates and what they refer to as the “blow hole,” is where the water rushes out into the river downstream when they lower the locks for the tow boats to pass from the lake into the river. The turbulence is incredibly strong and the water conditions are just right for the build up of Asian carp to collect in the tumultuous flow filled with plankton and algae.

As we moved across the channel with it’s appearance of water about to boil, we were in tandem with the KY Fish & Wildlife research boat. The process was for them to induce an electric current in the water that momentarily stuns the fish so they can be netted and sampled for research.

The moment the charge hits the water the Asian carp leap up into the air. The suddenness of it is similar to what might feel like standing next to an explosion. The water literally explodes with fish in a moment where it feels like everything is moving in slow motion. A sudden blow to the chest deflected by the life jacket…….another one skimming off the side of the 14mm prime lens. Like trying to dodge bullets……..once the shock is over the fish lazily swim upside down to be reluctantly netted in the boat……..The catch was small for the day……..not sure what the verdict was………….except that there are Asian Carp getting through the locks into the lakes…

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