DNR and Bass Pro Partner to Provide Rewards for Anglers Catching Snakeheads
HANOVER —And then there were 9. The ongoing discovery of Northern Snakehead fish in the Potomac River in Maryland and Virginia has biologists in the two states concerned about the possible infestation of the nonnative species.
Although the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other conservation agencies are continuing to sample waters for additional northern snakehead fish, all parties involved are also relying on recreational and commercial anglers to catch snakeheads in order to assess the number of fish and the corresponding threat.
In an effort to encourage recreational anglers to continue to catch these fish, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World has partnered with the Maryland DNR to offer rewards to successful anglers.
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will be offering a 'Snakehead Reward' Gift Card in exchange for any Snakehead caught in Maryland waters or waters of the Potomac watershed. The fish must be caught on hook and line with legal fishing methods by a licensed angler and be reported to DNR or another resource management agency.
Anglers are asked NOT TO RELEASE a northern snakehead fish, but to kill it humanely with a blow to the head and to get it on ice as quickly as possible. Anglers should report their catches to authorities immediately.
If the fish is caught in Maryland, anglers are asked to call DNR at 410-260-8320, or toll-free at 1-877-520-8DNR, ext. 8320.
Once the fish has been reported, the angler should bring the fish to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World at 7000 Arundel Mills Cir. (Exit 10A off Route 100 at Route I-295) in Hanover for measuring and photo opportunities. The snakehead fish will then be turned over to the Maryland DNR.
The 'Snakehead Reward' Program runs from July 1 through Oct. 31. Bass Pro Shops 'Snakehead Reward' Gift Card amounts are as follows:
- $10 for Snakeheads under 12 inches
- $25 for Snakeheads 13 to 24 inches
- $50 for Snakeheads over 24 inches
In addition, successful anglers will receive a 'Snakehead Wrangler' cap from the Maryland DNR Fisheries Service.
To view a fact sheet with a photograph of a northern snakehead fish and illustrations of similar-looking native species that are often confused with snakehead fish, anglers are encouraged to visit the following Web sites:
- Maryland DNR www.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrnews/infocus/snakehead.asp
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service http://contaminants.fws.gov
Posted July 1, 2004