Biologists say one of the most effective ways to control the population is to simply eat it.
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Freshwater snakeheads are top-level predators with an impressive knack for adaptability. The species also has a bad reputation for being an invasive species and in the opinions of many, are ugly to boot. As a consequence, the fish rarely makes it onto the dinner plate, but the Charles County Commissioners in Maryland want to change that by giving the fish a more appealing name.
“Snakeheads are considered a good eating fish but who wants to order snakehead for dinner?” asked the county government’s Facebook page.
The first established population of northern snakehead was discovered in Maryland in 2002, and soon biologists began to fear a destructive breakout equaling that of Asian carp would occur along the East Coast. While snakeheads did begin to populate waterways in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and other states in the region, many experts now say the introduction of snakeheads may not be as bad as it was once feared. However, the fish remains a concern because of the fact that it has few predators in North America and can mate up to five times a year.