In an attempt to rid their waters of snakehead fish, Maryland is offering rewards to anyone that kills the fish from hell.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries (DNR) is offering $200 gift cards and to Bass Pro Shop and various other prizes to residents who capture and kill a snakehead.
We do not want snakeheads in our waters, DNR Director Don Cosden told Fox News. This initiative is a way to remind anglers that it is important to catch and remove this invasive species of fish.
These fish are native to Africa and Asia and first appeared in Maryland in 2002 when an angler caught an 18-inch one. Since then, the population has increased and they've been discovered in dozens of bodies of water. It is believed this species was brought to America through Asian seafood merchants.
It's illegal to sell snakeheads in the U.S. However, federal agents have uncovered illegal snakehead selling operations in several states, including New York, Texas, Florida and Missouri.
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Snakeheads can survive on land for up to four days and can migrate up to a quarter mile between bodies of water, devastating ecosystems of lakes, ponds and streams. They can become more than two feet long and have been found in seven states, according to Fox News.
We don't expect that anglers will eradicate the snakehead population, DNR Tidal Bass program manager Joe Love told Fox News. We do believe this promotion and inspiration of anglers can help control the snakehead population.
To enter the contest, angles must post a picture of themselves with a dead snakehead fish caught in Maryland on the DNR's Angler's Log webpage. The winners will be drawn Nov. 30.