Last month, I went on a fishing trip with Delegate David Bulova and the Dr. John Odenkirk with the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF) hunting Great Northern Snakeheads in Potomac Estuaries. This year, I made a video of our trip that you can watch below.
Last year, I took a similiar trip. I wrote about it in this article where you can also watch an introductory video by DGIF about Snakeheads.
I also did a short video back then that you can watch here:
Back in 2002, the Northern Snakehead fish erupted onto the scene after they were discovered in a pond in Crofton, Maryland. They were eradicated from the pond and later discovered in Little Hunting Creek in May, 2004 - right here in the 44th District.
Initially, there was some hope they could be eradicated but those hopes were quickly dashed after one of my 8th grade classmates, Derek Radoski and Mt. Vernon Bass Guide, Steve Chaconas, caught several hundred with a net in a sluice in Dogue Creek. The Washington Post did a great write up of their efforts to promote Snakehead fishing to the broader public.
DGIF is doing great work trying to figure out Snakeheads' impact on the Potomac ecosystem - without any taxpayer funds. They are funded entirely by hunting licenses, fishing licenses, and taxes relating to the sale of hunting and fishing equipment.
Right now, no one knows exactly where it is all heading. However, on our trip, it was interesting to note that virtually none of the fish we saw were indigenous to Virginia.
The bottom line is that Snakeheads are here to stay and we need to start figuring out how to deal with them.