Dubbed the ‘fish from hell’, the Snakehead is a mean looking creature that can survive on land and is devastating to other fish.
Native to Asia and Africa, it has now been found in seven states across the country forcing one of them, Maryland, to take action by putting a bounty on its head.
Fishermen are being offered a $200 gift card and other prizes as a reward for killing the ‘fishzilla’.
‘We do not want Snakeheads in our waters. This initiative is a way to remind anglers that it is important to catch and remove this invasive species of fish,’ said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries Director Don Cosden.
The fish can survive up to four days on land, can migrate up to a quarter mile between bodies of water by wriggling on their fins and can grow to more than 2 feet long.
The state is offering the Bass Pro Shops voucher in the hope of controlling the population of the fish, which is believed to have made its way to the country through Asian seafood merchants.
‘We don’t expect that anglers will eradicate the Snakehead population. We do believe this promotion and inspiration of anglers can help control the Snakehead population.
‘The information we gain from the Angler’s Log reports are also helpful in assessing the abundance, spread and impact of these feisty fish,’ Joe Love, the state’s Department of Natural Resources Tidal Bass program manager told Fox News.
The creatures’ insatiable appetites can destroy the eco-systems of ponds, lakes and streams and the native populations.
‘These fish clobber any type of moving bait you throw. When they smash into your lure, be prepared for a fight — especially if they are around some sort of cover,’ fisherman Rodney Hose told Outdoor Life blogger Gayne Young .
To win the bounty anglers must kill the fish in Maryland and then post a picture of themselves with the dead snakehead on the DNR’s Angler’s Log webpage
Winners will be picked in a draw on November 30, 2012. Last year, 69 anglers entered the contest, killing 82 of the creatures, reports Fox.
The first Snakehead found in Maryland, was an 18-inch fish caught in 2002 in Crofton Pond, 20 miles north of Washington, D.C.
Over the years, the population has grown and they’ve been caught in dozens of bodies of water, reports Fox.
Watch a video on how to hunt the ‘fish from hell’: