Northern snakeheads spread to upper Potomac, C&O Canal

(AP) – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says northern snakehead fish have made their way into the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and almost certainly the upper Potomac River.

Fishery managers are urging people to catch and kill the predatory fish.

Snakeheads are native to China, Korea and Russia. They can breathe air, survive on land and adapt and thrive in foreign environments.

The agency says anglers reported catching two northern snakeheads last fall in the canal several miles upstream from Great Falls. Biologists have since documented a 7-inch juvenile, an adult and a school of fry in the same section.

Northern snakeheads appeared in the tidal Potomac watershed in 2002. They are now firmly established in the Patuxent River, and have spread to other tidal waters in Maryland and Virginia.

Categories: Local News, Maryland, Virginia