The Washington Post

A new name for the snakehead?

Do you like seafood? If so, you might want to enter the contest to rename the northern snakehead. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

When you hear “northern snakehead,” you probably don’t say, “Yum!” But Charles County is hoping to change that. The county is sponsoring a contest to rename the Asian fish that invaded the Potomac River about 10 years ago.

“The snakehead has had a lot of bad publicity,” said Ken Robinson, the Charles County commissioner who came up with the contest. “It’s not ‘fishzilla,’ ” the name some have given the big fish that eats most small creatures that cross its path.

Robinson said he heard that the Chilean sea bass, a fish found on many restaurant menus, once had a similar problem. Its original name? The Patagonian toothfish.

Like the sea bass, the snakehead makes a good meal, Robinson said: “It tastes great.”

Names can be submitted until February 6. Judges will pick three finalists; then the public will choose the winner. Finalists will receive dinner at a Charles County restaurant that serves snakehead. The grand prize has not been determined, Robinson said.

The county will send the name to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for consideration.

Vote at Always ask a parent before going online.

— Christina Barron

Show Comments

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.