Is There A Bounty On Snakehead Fish? Protecting Our Waters From An Invasive Threat
Officials Urge Anyone Who Spots Northern Snakehead Fish To Kill It
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What Is The Reward For Killing Snakehead?
“What rewards can you receive for catching and removing northern snakeheads? Starting immediately and running through 2024, those who catch and harvest northern snakeheads with specific tags have the opportunity to earn gift cards valued at either $10 or $200, depending on the type of tag attached to the fish. To be eligible for these rewards, harvesters must take two crucial steps: First, they need to report the unique tag number associated with the caught snakehead to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) by calling 800-448-8322. Additionally, they are encouraged to photograph the harvested snakehead, showcasing the attached tag. This initiative began on May 24, 2022, and offers an incentive for controlling the population of this invasive species.”
What Is The Bounty On Snakehead Fish In Maryland?
In Maryland, a recently implemented program aims to control the population of an invasive species known as the Northern Snakehead, often referred to as “Frankenfish.” This program offers a financial incentive by providing a bounty of up to $200 for each captured Northern Snakehead. Collaborating closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Maryland agency responsible for this initiative has taken the proactive step of tagging approximately 500 Northern Snakeheads with distinctive yellow and blue markers as of July 15, 2022. These tags serve as a means of tracking and verifying the captured fish, ensuring that individuals who participate in the bounty program are compensated fairly for their efforts in controlling this invasive species.
Why Was Snakehead Banned?
In 2002, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) took a significant step to address the ecological threat posed by the snakehead family of fish, scientifically known as Channidae, by banning their importation and interstate transport. This regulatory action was implemented under the Lacey Act, which prohibits the introduction and spread of invasive species that could harm local ecosystems. The FWS’s decision encompassed all snakehead species already identified at the time, as well as any potential future species that could be discovered within this family. This proactive measure aimed to prevent these voracious predatory fish from establishing themselves in new environments, where they could disrupt native aquatic ecosystems and outcompete local species. By banning snakeheads, the FWS aimed to safeguard the balance and integrity of aquatic ecosystems in the United States.
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In an effort to track and contain the species, the agencies are placing yellow or blue tags on up to 500 northern snakeheads and offering gift cards of $10 and $200 depending on the tag to people who catch them. The reward is in place until 2024.Each tagged northern snakehead caught and harvested from now until 2024 could be rewarded with a gift card of $10 or $200 depending on the tag. In order to qualify, the harvester must report the tag number to USFWS at 800-448-8322, and is asked to take a picture of their harvested and tagged northern snakehead.A new tagging program in Maryland is paying up to $200 per invasive fish nicknamed Frankenfish. The agency has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to place yellow and blue tags on about 500 Northern Snakeheads.
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