If we’re serious about getting the invasive snakeheads under control before they eat all the other fish in the Chesapeake watershed, then let me suggest that we get serious about the bounty. Those $200 gift certificates from a major outdoors retailer are nice, but there are only three of them, and those who catch a snakehead have to enter a drawing to win them, and the drawing isn’t until November. That’s not much of an incentive.
Let’s engage in some bigger thinking about this.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says the snakehead is a big problem — serious enough for DNR to announce the bounty program with its modest prizes — so how about a big solution?
What we need is a summer snakehead roundup, a snakehead tournament with major corporate sponsorship and celebrity anglers, a snakehead festival and a new campaign to market the fish to the American public. In short, we need smartly-managed and balanced commercial exploitation of a fish that marine scientists consider a threat to the regional ecosystem. That would be a win-win.