Sunday, May 02, 2004

Snakehead Update

Now that a second northern snakehead (Channa argus) fish has been found in Maryland, lawmakers are taking steps to ban the species...again. As reported by The Baltimore Sun, legislation was already enacted last year, after the first snakehead was found, giving Maryland's Department of Natural Resources the power to outlaw the species. The DNR never enacted the ban, because the federal government put the northern snakehead on the list of Injurious Wildlife Species under the Lacey Act, and it is already illegal in Maryland to dump fish in waterways. Unfortunately, the Lacey Act only covers importation into the U.S. and interstate transport, meaning that there is nothing to stop local businesses and individuals from breeding and selling snakeheads. Meanwhile, WJLA is reporting that Pine Lake has now been completely drained, with no other snakeheads found. Non-snakehead fish were redistributed to neighboring ponds.

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