Snakehead Fishing Tournament on the Potomac


The introduction of the Snakehead fish to the Potomac River  is, in my opinion, the single worst environmental catastrophe to happen to the river and its tributaries.  I believe it will lead to the eventual degradation of the Bass population for the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland with the threat to head up river to West Virginia.

It is believed that this exotic fish was illegally released into the Potomac via private owners maybe 10 years ago and feeds on bass fry and juveniles. As early as 2004 the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries partnered with Bass Pro Shops offering $50 cash bounties, then $50 Bass Pro Shop gift cards for every dead Snakehead – In fact, the MD Department of Natural Resources still pay out bounties today.

So, I’m happy to see this particular fishing tournament – The Snakehead Smackdown – and hoping it grows! It looks like it’s an all night, 12 hour fishing tournament where you bag as many Snakeheads as possible with the winner having the heaviest total catch. It is also interesting to note that the fish MUST be dead – even 1 live fish will disqualify the team.

The only criticism I have is the promotion of the Snakehead as a culinary delicacy with cooking seminars and samples. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about eating it let alone turning it into a market but I guess if people like it and pay for it then who am I to judge what will inevitably be a river full of these heinous fish. I am happy to see Flying Dog Brewing involved as a sponsor and props to Whackfactor Outdoors, LLC for putting on the tournament to help thin the population. Check out their twitter account (@MDVASnakehead) for live updates.

But again, we’re glad to get Maryland and the Potomac out of the way.

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