The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 11, 2013

House legalizes gillnetting on Tennessee River


Associated Press

ATHENS —  



MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House has repealed a law prohibiting gillnetting on the Tennessee River on Thursday. It is the only waterway in the state that is affected by lifting the ban.

The bill's proponents say gillnetting — or dragging a net beneath the water's surface — is the only method of controlling the spread of Silver Carp, an invasive species. The fish can grow to 40 pounds and leap 10 feet out of the water. The large carp have been known to pose a danger to humans.

There is a commercial market for the fish. One legislator says the repeal will be helpful to establishing the Alabama Bass Trail as well.

Conservation officials say they support the repeal, which passed 93 to 2. Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Lauderdale, sponsored the bill.