The northern snakehead is among the next wave of invasive species that threatens the Great Lakes, according to a team of university and government researchers. Unheard of in U.S. waters during 2001, this predator now is established in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York waters, and poses an increasing threat to the aquatic health of Chesapeake Bay, which faces a host of other assaults as well.
“I think this one is coming,” said research scientist Ed Rutherford. “People will bring them in live for the aquarium trade. It’s also been found in live markets around Toronto.”
Meanwhile, my friend Capt. Steve Chaconas, a Potomac River guide, has been watching the snakehead's progress since the beginning. He emphasizes that a catch-and-kill strategy still is necessary, but points out that the catch-and-release ethic of many anglers is beginning to complicate management of this invasive.
Here's his assessment of the situation: