Help Control The Spread of Snakehead Fish

Join Maryland's Bass Pro Shops and Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources to help control the spread of the Northern Snakehead growth and be entered for a chance at a $200 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card!

NorthernSnakehead - Drawing by Susan Trammell

 The Northern Snakehead is so invasive that an alarmed Maryland DNR - Fisheries Service employed a full frontal attack on the fish when it, and others, were discovered in a pond in Crofton, Maryland in 2002. The plan to eradicate the fish, for fear of reproducing, included eliminating existing thick vegetation in the pond by using a herbicide to make accessing the fish more possible. The next step was to use a common fish toxin to eradicate the Snakehead from that Crofton, MD pond.

In 2002 it was believed, or more accurately "hoped", that the only body of water in Maryland the Snakehead populated was that Crofton pond. But, as we all know, the fish is far from being eradicated. If the actions being considered by DNR in 2002 to eradicate the fish didn’t send chills up your spine back then, consider that the worst fear has transpired. The Snakehead was soon discovered in multiple waterways in our great state of Maryland, most notably the Potomac River and its tributaries!

Our US Congress, following the lead put in motion by Maryland DNR’’s Fisheries Service, acknowledged the Snakehead problem to be so significant that they requested the United States Fish & Wildlife Service to develop a National Control and Management Plan

As a result, and not wasting any time, the USFWS and the Department of the Interior published the Invasive Species Program Snakeheads - The Newest Aquatic Invader publication in July of 2002!


Several theories speculate how the Snakehead came to exist in the Potomac. The most believable being that enough pregnant females were sucked into the ballasts of freighters and other large ships traveling the globe, then released in our waterways that they had a head start in breeding. It’s unclear if this can be validated, but to most of us it sounds likely. It’s important to note that live Northern Snakeheads have been legally brought into the United States for some time through the Seafood industry. It appears that what was an economic strategy to further build menu options for consumers has turned to be for more costly

The fact is that this species is beyond aggressive. They have the will to survive in ways we don’t normally see in our parts. For example: How many fish have you seen that can survive up to four days out of water? This doesn’t mean that the sun, it’s moons and the stars all need to be lined up for this to happen, it simply means that two or three days out of water most likely will not kill the fish! That’s a problem.  The rules appear t have changed, there is no "Top of the Food Chain" beyond the Snake head. Unless the sometimes seen Bull Shark makes its way into the Potomac River, man is the only predator to this fish.

Catch them, kill them and report it to Maryland DNR’s Angler’s Log to secure your chances to win the $200 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card that will be drawn on November 30, 2012!.  For quick reference, scan the Angler's Log QR below code with your smart phone and save it for ready recall when you land your Snakehead!

Angler's Log & QR CodeHere are some tips to get you started:  We’ve learned that Snakeheads will go after most anything from other fish to frogs, but nticeably, they have been hitting Spinner Bait, Buzz Bait, and Plastic Worms.  We've spoken with anglers who've been successful Bowfishing and having an excellent fishing adventure while demonstrating great control.


Snakehead - All Teeth!

The USFWS and Maryland DNR have put together an excellent Northern Snakehead video on how to identify, find and control the Snakehead in Maryland waters.

Comments for Help Control The Spread of Snakehead Fish

Name: Harvey Robinson
Time: Monday, August 20, 2012

I have already sent you amessage!!!!!!!!! Whats wrong, nobody cares!!!

Name: dru dykens
Time: Friday, October 17, 2014

poison the lakes and rivers

Leave a comment