|Northern Snakehead caught in Rhode River|
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, on the outskirts of Edgewater, Maryland. It was captured by a team of scientists from the Marine Invasions Laboratory, which, appropriately enough studies the transfer of marine organism from their native to foreign environments via a number of pathways. The group (shown at the right) included two full time SERC scientists and three summer interns.
With the appearance of the snakehead this far down from it's closest known occurrence, in the Northeast River, we can be fairly sure that Snakeheads have at least had a chance to colonize all the low salinity tributaries in between, and will likely start showing up in greater numbers in upcoming years. With a snakehead having been killed near Pt. Lookout as well, it seems likely that snakeheads will also have a good chance of colonizing any low salinity tributaries on the Maryland's Western Shore, and I see no barrier to them colonizing the Eastern Shore tributaries as well.
Bowfin (sometimes called a grindel or blackfish). Not a particularly common catch, it is considered a gamefish, but not a particularly fine food fish. Snakeheads are reputedly very fine eating fish.
I would be remiss in a post on snakeheads if I did not post a picture of Capt. Mike Starrett's giant that he caught just this weekend in Mattawoman Creek, off the Potomac River, south of Washington D.C. At 30 inches and 17 lbs, this was one big fish. This is the fourth (or more) snakeheads that Mike or his clients have caught in the past four days of fishing.