• By Ken Perrotte

Northern Snakehead Impacts on Fisheries: Biologists Reaching Differing Conclusions

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

TODAY, SOME 17 years after northern snakehead fish were discovered in a Maryland pond and a Virginia tidal creek, the toothy fish that resembles a bowfin but sports a scale-pattern resembling some snakes is found in just about every one of the Chesapeake region’s main tributaries.

They are driving a burgeoning bowfishing industry. Anglers have figured out that they’ll readily wallop a topwater lure, such as an artificial frog. You can even sell their firm, flaky flesh to restaurants in Maryland

Researchers want to know more about the fish and its potential impacts on existing species, including favored gamefish such as largemouth bass and panfish such as crappie and bluegill.

When snakeheads were first found in some of our tidal creeks, many worried this apex predator, originally native to the Yangtze River basin in China, would decimate the competition, greatly altering our fisheries. States enacted strict laws, requesting anglers kill and report any snakeheads they caught.

A recently released study conducted by biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources indicates snakeheads are negatively affecting fish populations in areas they inhabit.

The study by Joshua J. Newhard and Joseph W. Love assessed fish populations at two locations near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County Maryland. Fish population surveys taken in 2006 and 2007 were compared to data collected from surveys in 2017 and 2018. Snakeheads were first reported in the Blackwater River drainage in 2012.

Since the surveys began in 2006, 35 different species (32 fish and 3 invertebrate) were captured. Of 21 species that were captured both pre- and post-snakehead arrival, 17 declined in their relative abundance, including black crappie, white perch and bluegill. In addition, five of six sites sampled had significantly different fish communities after arrival of the snakeheads.

It definitely sounds ominous. But not so fast, other researchers argue. A research study in Virginia yielded different results. See the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star for the rest of the story.

#northernsnakehead #bowfishing

Subscribe for new stories, reviews, and more. 
(Don't worry, we won't spam you)

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2017-2020 Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, All Rights Reserved. Outdoors adventures, hunting, fishing, travel, innovative wild game and fish recipes, gear reviews and coverage of outdoors issues. Except as noted, all text and images are by Ken Perrotte (Outdoors Rambler (SM). Some items, written by Ken Perrotte and previously published elsewhere, are revised or excerpted under provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine


Privacy Policy:

What type of information do you collect? We receive, collect and store any information you enter on our website. In addition, we collect the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information and purchase history. We may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page. We also collect personally identifiable information (including name, email, password, communications); payment details (including credit card information – although the site does not currently engage in any type of e-commerce), comments, feedback, product reviews, recommendations, and personal profile.

How do you collect information? When a visitor to the site sends you a message through a contact form or subscribes to receive updates and other communications about new stuff on the site, we collect that subscriber’s email address. That address is used only for marketing campaigns or other information we send regarding site updates or changes. Site usage data may be collected by our hosting platform Wix.com or by third-party services, such as Google Analytics or other applications offered through the Wix App Market, placing cookies or utilizing other tracking technologies through Wix´s services, may have their own policies regarding how they collect and store information. As these are external services, such practices are not covered by the Wix Privacy Policy. These services may create aggregated statistical data and other aggregated and/or inferred Non-personal Information, which we or our business partners may use to provide and improve our respective services. Data may also be collected to comply with any applicable laws and regulations.

How do you store, use, share and disclose your site visitors' personal information? Our company is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to share information or sell products and services to you. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.

How do you communicate with your site visitors? The primary means of communicating with site users is via email for the purposes of marketing campaigns, promotions, and update. We may contact you to notify you regarding your subscription, to troubleshoot problems, resolve a dispute, collect fees or monies owed, to poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires, to send updates about our company, or as otherwise necessary to contact you to enforce our User Agreement, applicable national laws, and any agreement we may have with you. For these purposes we may contact you via email, telephone, text messages, and postal mail.

How do you use cookies and other tracking tools? Our hosting platform Wix.com and our analytical services providers such as Google Analytics may place cookies that facilitate their services. To be perfectly honest, Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, the owner of outdoorsrambler.com, never looks at cookies or any other tracking/data collection tools, only the aggregated reports provided by the hosting service or analytical services providers.

How can your site visitors withdraw their consent? If you don’t want us to process your data anymore, please contact us using the “Contact Us” form on the site.

Privacy policy updates: We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it.