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Caught another snakehead today. This one is probably between 6-7lbs. I haven't weighed or measured it yet but it's definitely bigger than the first. It was also tagged. I'm going to give the number a call tomorrow to report it and claim the reward. I'll post pics when I take it out of the freezer to measure it.
Nice job Dan.
I find it interesting that it was tagged since the state mandates a remove and kill on the species. Who's tag was it?
Apparently the US Fish and Wildlife and the MD DNR worked together to tag and release some of the fish. I guess they figure the benefits of learning about snakehead behavior outweighs the effects of leaving a few snakeheads in the ecosystem.
When I called the number it connected to a US F&W voice messaging system. The office was closed so that's why I'm going to call again tomorrow. I've heard the reward is a hat. I was hoping for cash but I guess a snakehead hat is cool...
I have heard John Odenkirk (VA State biologist) talk about snakeheads a few times. There is a lot of learning yet to be done. Let's not forget that the black bass (LMB) is an invasive species also in this area. It was brought in many a year ago.
John is not convinces that the SH is a bad thing. The Potomac River has been fishing well every year since the SN has been brought in.
Have you checked what's in the belly?
Ernie, didn't someone say the catfish (blues?) in the potomac are much worst? I remember reading somewhere that they'll have a much bigger effect on the ecosystem because of their massive size and appetite.
I am not the expert but I think you are correct Andrew. Those beasts keep getting bigger and bigger plus they roam a larger area than the SH.
oh yeah, I'm constantly arguing against people who think the snakehead is the end of the fishery. Lots of gloom and doom predictions from the media a few years ago stirred up all this fear but no one told the largemouth.
From all the research done by the scientists working with John Odenkirk, they have yet to find a largemouth bass in the belly of a snakehead. However, they are finding plenty of snakeheads in the bellies of largemouth bass.
The two fish occupy completely different areas of the water column. Snakeheads live in VERY shallow water due to the fact that they must come to the surface every so often to breathe. They do not have gills and thus cannot stay submerged for more than about four minutes. If so, they will drown. This means that they feed primarily on killifish, a very small minnow that lives in less than 6 inches of water.
Bass normally do not go into water that shallow. They prefer water in the 2-10 foot range.
They actually do have gills and can use them like other fish to breathe but for some reason they seem to prefer using their lungs to breathe air. I think it may be more efficient or easier for them. But yeah, the water where we were catching them was VERY shallow and thick with weeds.
They do have gills and can use them like Dan said but snakeheads have something very similar to a labyrinth organ that allows them to breath air and thus the ability to take over low oxygenated waters where they have no competition from other apex predators, and survival rate for the fry (which both parents will tend to) is much much higher