Letters to the EditorNews


Please help protect our native fish! A bill to allow the use of non-native, exotic tilapia in lakes to feed trophy fish passed the Senate. The bill (SB 360) is now in the House (the House Game, Fish and Parks committee).

Tilapia (“kudzu fish”) will escape into our streams and out-compete our bluegills and bream. Please contact the house committee to ask them to say NO to SB 360.

Here’s what the Georgia River Network says: “The rearing of certain species and hybrids of tilapia, a non-native, exotic fish species in Georgia, in aquaculture operations and for use in ponds and lakes as feed for trophy fish, such as largemouth bass. The bill aims to declare them as ‘domestic’ in Georgia. Scientific studies warn that if tilapia are reared in aquaculture operations and/or introduced to Georgia’s ponds or lakes for trophy fish to feed on they will escape to our natural rivers and streams. A study at the University of Georgia found that these non-native, exotic fish will survive temperatures above mid-50 degree F, a temperature that assures their survival in eight out of 10 South Georgia winters and in any spring-fed portion of a river or warm-water discharge. These fish will adapt and reproduce and become an invasive species that will out-compete our native fishes, such as bluegills, bream and other panfish.â€

Liz Conroy