Naturalist Bev Scarboro has been studying Knoxville’s riverfront aquatic life for the past 30 years. According to her studies, carp numbers peaked during the 1982 World’s Fair, when children from around the world bought carp food and sprinkled it to hungry carp waiting below the TVA exhibit. Carp food machines were conveniently located around the water front at that time, and a handful only cost a quarter. Since then, the carp population has steadily declined, until just a few years ago, when it dropped with an urgent suddenness. “I couldn’t help but notice there was a correlation between the sharp drop in carp numbers and the increase of riverfront restaurants,” said Scarboro. “All these restaurants have a menu rich in seafood and fresh fish entrees at bargain prices.” Riverfront restaurant owners had no comment.