ANNAPOLIS — Maryland anglers caught 82 snakeheads in a contest sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources to help eradicate the invasive species.
DNR says the 69 anglers were automatically entered into a drawing for prizes donated by contest sponsors.
The anglers included Dutch Baldwin of Indian Head, who caught 26 while bow-fishing, and James Berry of Chesapeake Beach, who caught a 16-pound snakehead near Fort Washington using a compound bow.
DNR officials say snakehead are highly regarded in Asia and are believed to have been introduced to the Potomac by those seeking to supply the exotic fish to an underground market. Snakeheads, however, are voracious predators that can disrupt ecosystems.
The department is also promoting snakeheads to top chefs and seafood lovers to help eliminate the species from state waters.