Welcome to the

Watts Bar Ecology and Fishery Council Website

a 501(c)3 organization, was established in the spring of 2017. This council is a productive and comprehensive body established to address the many issues involving invasive aquatic species. Our mission is to evaluate, assess, and recommend actions necessary to protect the ecology and economic engines of the upper TN River Lakes, including: Nickajack, Chickamauga, Watts Bar, Melton Hill, Ft. Loudon, and Tellico. This includes control of existing invasive aquatic plants, and more importantly to prevent the invasive Asian Silver-Carp from migrating further upstream. These lakes face the most serious ecological devastation and economic decline in the history of this region. We hope you will join in our fight to save our lakes by becoming a WBEFC stakeholder and taking part in our efforts. You can do so by going to “Contact” and filling out the short form. Only with a major effort will our lakes survive.

WBEFC Structure
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These Fish are Lethal

BBC Reports

Our Lake

Watts Bar Reservoir extends 72.4 miles northeast from Watts Bar Dam in Spring City, TN, to Fort Loudoun Dam. The dam is located about midway between Knoxville and Chattanooga, and is one of nine TVA dams on the Tennessee River. The reservoir provides popular recreational outdoor activities for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, etc. The reservoir has 722 miles of shoreline and over 39,090 acres of water surface, and a flood-storage capacity of 379,000 acre-feet. Watts Bar Dam has one 60x360-foot lock that lifts and lowers barges as much as 70 feet to Chickamauga Reservoir. The lock handles more than a million tons of cargo a year.

Can the Ecology and Economy of the Upper TN River Basin be Saved?

Yes! But the odds are not good. The invasive silver carp represents the most significant ecological and economic disaster to ever face this region. If this disaster is to be prevented, there are only two options. Immediately install an electric barrier at Watts Bar lock, or shut down the lock a Nickajack permanently and rail barges around the lock (this will never happen). The carp will reach the Upper TN River Basin in 3-6 years if the barrier is not installed. They will destroy the ecology, bring an end to sport fishing and recreation, and cause an annual economic downturn of more than $1.5 billion to the region. Politics is preventing implementation of the actions needed to save the Upper TN River Basin. The WBEFC is working extremely hard to change that fact, but we are not optimistic. We fear our beautiful lakes will be lost.

Working together to preserve the ecological and economic health of the Upper TN River Lakes

we work closely with these agencies