Snakeheads are back in Maryland, but itís no laughing matter. Northern snakehead fish are considered highly invasive with the potential to quickly affect native ecosystems. Once established, eradication of invasive species may be impossible.
Marylandís efforts in 2002 to contain this species in a Crofton pond was successful, and more recently, DNR worked with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to drain a Wheaton pond where a northern snakehead was caught.
But then a single northern snakehead was caught on May 7 in Little Hunting Creek, a Virginia tributary just across the Potomac River.
And this week, another northern snakehead fish was caught May 12 near Marshall Hall on the Potomac River. This fish, an immature female hatched in 2003, is approximately the same size as the northern snakehead caught May 7.
It is unlikely that only two Northern Snakehead fish are in the Potomac. In order to assess just how many are out there, and the corresponding threat to the ecosystem, DNR will be posting signs around the Potomac River in marinas instructing anglers who catch Northern Snakehead fish to kill these fish, keep them, and notify DNR immediately at 410-260-8320, or toll-free at 1-877-520-8DNR, ext. 8230 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org