Nashville – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has
been involved in response activities including assessment of the
initial impact to wildlife resources, public safety and boating,
and initiating sampling to track long-term effect on wildlife and
habitat since the massive release of fly ash on Dec. 22, 2008. The
release came from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston
Steam Plant on Watts Bar Reservoir.
The Kingston Steam Plant is located on a peninsula where the
Emory River joins the Clinch River on Watts Bar Reservoir. This
area is popular for fishing, boating and wildlife viewing.
TWRA advises until further notice that fishing and boating
should be avoided in the lower section of the Emory River, and that
existing advisories for Watts Bar should be followed. In the Clinch
River arm of Watts Bar, which would include the lower Emory River,
there is a fish consumption advisory against eating striped bass
and a precautionary advisory for catfish and sauger. A
precautionary advisory means that children, pregnant women, and
nursing mothers should not consume the fish species named. All
other persons should limit consumption of the named species to one
meal per month.
Beginning the week of Jan. 5, TWRA will be collecting bass and
catfish and comparing fish tissue results to existing data for
those species. TWRA expects to resample on a semiannual basis.
Assessment of the impact of this release on wildlife resources and
habitat will require repeated sampling and evaluation over the next
three to five years.
TWRA will coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) and other resource agencies to assess the long-term impact
of contaminants on other wildlife resources in the area including
mammals, bird life, and aquatic species.
For health concerns related to the coal fly ash release, a
hotline has been established at the Tennessee Department of Health
for the public, 1-800-404-3006 and for updated TDEC Fish
Advisories, go to