Capture of Snakehead Puzzles Local Fisherman

Capture of Snakehead Puzzles Local Fisherman

Steve Chaconas, Captain of the National Bass Guide Service, said that he has been fishing Little Hunting Creek for the past 35 years and that, "I've never seen or caught a snakehead, but I know they're voracious eaters. They'll eat just about anything."

Tuesday, a local fisherman practicing his angling for an upcoming Bass Fishing Tournament, hooked one of the fish, also known as Frankenfish. Chaconas guesses that someone released this fish upstream of the creek.

"People have something like this and it gets too big, so they release it into the wild. They don't realize that when you have a species that is not indigenous to the environment, it can be very harmful," said Chaconas.

"What concerns me is that we have an exotic species that has no predators and is resistant to drought. Once something like this is in a river system it can be disastrous."

Julia Dixon with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said the department staff has been fishing in and around the area since then and have hooked more than two dozen other species of fish but not another snakehead. Dixon said the snakehead was caught in water a foot and a half deep.

The snakehead was placed on the state's list of predatory and undesirable exotic species in 2002 after one turned up in a lake in Maryland.