Snakehead Week: TBD talks snakeheads with a guy who knows his fish

Can snakeheads ever be stopped? Have they ever taken a bite out of a human? Is there a way to blame WJLA weatherman Bob Ryan for the spread of this invasive species? The answers to all those questions (and more!) are below as TBD continues Snakehead Week with Q & A with Don Cosden, Maryland Inland Fisheries assistant director.


You can thank angler Lester Thorton Jr. for Snakehead Week. According to a Loudoun Times-Mirror report, Thorton is believed to have hooked one up near White’s Ferry, a feat that sparked TBD's comprehensive coverage.

TBD has paraphrased her questions below and (obviously) kept Cosden's answers intact. So take it away, Don!


TBD: What's going to happen to an ecosystem if a snakehead invades it?

Cosden: "It has potential to compete with some of the other top predators in the system. In that case, we'd be talking about smallmouth bass, walleye, potentially muskie or tiger muskie, although they get a bit larger so they might fare a little better. In that case, you're looking at possible loss of quality of some of the sport fisheries in the upper river."

TBD: Uh, so what does that mean?

"If you're not an angler, you may not see a difference. But if you're a fisherman, you could see a difference in what you're going to catch."

What's going on with the snakehead population?

"It appears that their numbers are still increasing. There's no way of knowing at what point they will sort of limit out."

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