Friday, April 6, 2012

The Snakehead fish problem

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries  is offering $200 gift cards to residents who capture and kill snakehead fish , an invasive species from Africa that is uprooting  the local ecosystem.
"We do not want snakeheads in our waters," DNR Director Don Cosden says. "This initiative is a way to remind anglers that it is important to catch and remove this invasive species of fish."

The northern snakehead is an aggressive freshwater fish that can grow to be about 4 feet long. It has been found in a variety of freshwater lakes, swamps, ponds, and streams of various temperatures, but cannot tolerate saltwater. The northern snakehead fish is native to parts of Asia and Africa.

The fish has no natural predators in the region can survive for up to four days on land. 

"We don't expect that anglers will eradicate the snakehead population," DNR Tidal Bass program manager Joe Love told Fox. "We do believe this promotion and inspiration of anglers can help control the snakehead population. The information we gain from the Angler's Log reports are also helpful in assessing the abundance, spread and impact of these feisty fish."