Officials here in Maryland have put a bounty on the snakehead fish, the “fish from hell” that can also travel on land and devastate eco-systems.
The state is now giving out $200 gift cards for Bass Pro Shops along with other prizes for catching and killing the killer fish, which is native to Africa and Asia but is thought to have made its way to the U.S. via Asian seafood merchants.
“We do not want snakeheads in our waters,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries Director Don Cosden. “This initiative is a way to remind anglers that it is important to catch and remove this invasive species of fish.”
The first time a snakehead fish was seen in Maryland was when an angler caught an 18-incher back in 2002 in Crofton Pond. Since that time, the population has swelled and they’ve been caught in dozens of bodies of water, including the Potomac River and other tributaries.
These nasty little fish can survive on land for up to four days, and can migrate up to a quarter mile between bodies of water by wiggling on their fins. National Geographic calls the snakehead “fishzilla,” and it is also frequently referred to as the “fish from hell.” They can grow to be over 2 feet long and have been found in at least seven states so far.
“We don’t expect that anglers will eradicate the snakehead population,” said Joe Love, the state’s Department of Natural Resources Tidal Bass program manager. “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.”
To eligible for the snakehead bounty, fisherman need to catch, kill, then post a picture of themselves with a dead snakehead fish caught in Maryland on the DNR’s Angler’s Log webpage. Winners will be drawn on November 30, 2012.
Last year, 69 anglers entered the snakehead bounty contest, killing 82 of the creatures.
More in the video below.
- Maryland offering $200 gift cards for dead snakehead fish (news.yahoo.com)
- $200 gift cards for dead snakehead fish (disclose.tv)
- Anglers Catching Snakehead Fish In Maryland Can Get A Reward (inquisitr.com)