U.S. Senate's proposed $14 million funding increase to fight Asian carp not matched in House budget

Two sides will have to reach a compromise

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter/ Carp swarm out of the Cumberland River as Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Reservoir Biologist Michael Clark, left, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Fisheries Biologist Matthew Combs, center, and Kentucky DFWR Fisheries Biologist Joshua Tompkins work to remove them from the water during an electrofishing demonstration at the Barkley Dam on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 in Grand Rivers, Ky. The electrofishing demonstration was held to show the large population of an invasive carp in the river.

More federal funding may soon be appropriated to Tennessee for its fight against Asian carp, putting an increased national spotlight on an issue state conservationists argue is the greatest threat to one of the world's most biodiverse temperate aquatic ecosystems.

However, when and how much assistance is yet to be determined, as the U.S. Senate and House are widely separated on how much funding should be given.

Last month, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a funding bill that included $25 million for Asian carp management, a $14 million increase from last year. That money would go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be divided nationally for areas dealing with the fish.

At the time, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was hopeful the bill would give areas including Tennessee more resources to deal with the threat.