Spread of snakeheads called phenomenal


(Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources/MARYLAND DEPT. OF NATURAL RESOUR)

The invasive species — often dubbed Frankenfish — has surprised biologists with its tenacity and its ability to conquer new habitats, according to WTOP.

"There's absolutely no question the range of the snakeheads increased phenomenally more than we expected," John Odenkirk, a biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, told the radio station.

The snakeheads, which have a voracious appetite and can scoot across land between bodies of water, have expanded into the Chesapeake Bay and some of its tributaries, despite aggressive attempts to kill off the species, WTOP says.

Biologists tell WTOP its unclear what the final impact of the fish will be on local habitats or how big the population could grow. (Cue the horror-movie music).

The Maryland Department of Resources is offering prizes to anyone who catches a snakehead and posts a photo of it on its Angler Log. WTOP said the prizes include a $200 rod-and-tackle package, a state park passport and a Potomac River fishing license.

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