A few years after I settled in Virginia, I began reading frightful stories about the arrival of a dangerous “frankenfish” in the Potomac River and its tributaries. This hideous invader called the northern snakehead was feared to be about to both outbreed all other native Potomac fish and eat every single one of them. Doomsday and Armageddon were upon us. We were advised to kill every one we saw without mercy. To do otherwise would mark one as a scofflaw.
I recently found these videos which painted a far different picture. The northern snakehead is an invader and is definitely here to stay. But it is not replacing the existing species in the Potomac. Instead it has proven to be an exciting gamefish and good eating to boot. The videos chronicle kayak fishing for snakeheads in Aquia and Accokeek Creeks, two waterways I am very familiar with. The video featuring John Odenkirk, a local wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is very informative. He’s been studying the snakeheads up close since their arrival in the area. I might have to take up fishing again, but I’ll need something a little more substantial than my Fenwick ferruleless pack fly rod.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HdWNN3HVGQ (fishing Aquia Creek)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrqvEw9BVpo (cooking and eating the beast)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R23-ThVeZ8o (the snakehead “professor”)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYdZ3YjEafM (fishing Accokeek Creek)