The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries (DNR) is trying to eradicate snakehead fish, an invasive species, by offering a prize for anglers who remove them. In partnership with Bass Pro Shops the Maryland DNR is offering a $200 Bass Pro Shop gift card through a lottery. In order to be entered into the lottery a Maryland resident must capture and kill a snakehead fish. To enter, an angler should submit catch details and a photo of their dead snakehead online through the DNR Angler’s log, a popular social fishing site, at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fishingreport/log.asp. Three lucky anglers will be selected at random at the conclusion of the contest.

Here are some facts about the Snakehead Fish from the DNR:

  • As a family, snakeheads are native to parts of  Asia and Africa. The northern snakehead is native to China, and possibly Korea and  Russia.
  • Typically found in a wide variety of habitats
  • Northern snakeheads grow to a maximum length of about 33 inches
  • Generally tan in appearance, with dark brown mottling; body somewhat elongated; long dorsal fin; jaws contain numerous canine -like teeth (similar to pike or pickerel)
  • Capable of breathing air using an air bladder that works as a primitive lung (not found in most fish)
  • Able to hibernate in cracks and crevices during cold temperatures and to go dormant in the mud during droughts
  • Voracious top-level predator, eating mostly fish, but also eats other aquatic wildlife and frogs
  • Capable of moving short distances on land using its pectoral fins; can live out of water for as many as three days
  • Favored as a food fish throughout southeast Asia; also believed to have curative powers. Also sold in the aquarium trade.
  • Four species have been found in the U.S., in eight states, probably the result of releases from personal aquariums or to develop local food sources
  • No natural predators in the U.S.

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