Yes since I was not targeting them to begin with.
Originally Posted by Rattletrap
DNR also encourages killing of all bluecats due to their invasive species classification. Yet if they were so concerned that blue cats and snakeheads are going to cause catastrophic declines in other species, why do they release these horrible fish after they shock them? If the predicted outlook was so gloomy, I would think they would kill the fish they shock instead of record data and release the fish.
I'm sure they are eating bass. No doubt about, just like every other fish in the river that eats small bass. the point I'm making is that its not there primary food source. I'd say between myself and my friend having cut open 200+ snakeheads over the last 4-5 years we have a pretty good sample size. And like I stated not 1 single largemouth bass in over 200 fish. If they were going to destroy the Potomac ecosystem, it would've already started. We have fish over 20lbs swimming around out there and the bass fishing might be the best its ever been.
Originally Posted by fishnnk
Mike, I also enjoy a 15+lb fish that will crush a topwater. My biggest so far this year is 15.27lbs.
I'm with you.In the Bay,alot of Striper fishermen hate Blues.Blues jump, fight better and can tolerate hot water better.If snakeheads takeover,I'tll be because Bass won't be able to survive in water too poluted ,oxygen starved,or overexploitation..When that happens,snakeheads will be a blessing in disguise.
Originally Posted by CaptMikeStarrett
The snakeheads are tagged and released. They are gathering data on them. One thing they do not know is where the 4 to 10 inch live..How far into the salt will they survive. Tagging gives feedback on growth, location , migration and
Originally Posted by schitty_vhull
many more unanswered questions.
Trust me shocking will not remove them. They have found a nitch and will survive regardless of mans feeble attempts at control. Nature always finds a way..
I see only positive things from them right now.
Besides ones caught never learn as they are destroyed. Not like LGMouth..
A friend of mine killed a tagged one the other day. He called it in.
Mike..I understand completely why they are tagged and data is collected. Because getting rid of them is not an option, gathering as much info as possible will help develop a management plan. The point is the sky is not falling. If the situation were as grim as some like to make it seem, you would not see the state putting them back in the water after collecting the length and weight of each fish they capture.
I had a day this spring where I caught 50 LMB and 2 snakeheads. The snakeheads were by far the highlight of that trip. Once hooked they darted sideways at a speed I've never seen before. Then they jumped, and made a run under the boat taking drag. A 4 lb snakehead outfought any bass I've ever caught in the river. And if the snakeheads were destructive, why did I catch 50 LM and only 2 snakeheads? Shouldn't it have been the other way around?
There is no doubt in my mind that they are here to stay and I agree with Mike that any attempt to try to eradicate them is a waste of time (short of poisining the entire river and wiping out all forms of life).
I have personally seen a school of 1,000+ 2" fish that were being protected by their 2 parents; not much you can do about that. They covered an area the size of a small car and the water was just black with them.
The tagging was done by the USGS if anyone is interested - I found this out after I called my tagged fish in.
I was out last weekend and we got 2 tagged snakeheads, awaiting my hat and certificate, hoping that my information called in helps some with the research. As far as the saltwater tolerance goes, I've seen them south of the 301 bridge on the potomac, so they have some tolerance to it.
They do tatste great, so we'll just have to live with that. I've cut quite a few & never seen a largemouth inside, thought I'm sure they eat them. I'd rather catch a snakehead anyway though.
My advice is to enjoy what is now here to stay, some way or another.
My take on the anglers-must-immediately-kill-snakeheads regulation: this has less to do with any expectation of containing this species in waters it has already become established in, and more to do with guarding against individuals who might wish to extend their range, for whatever reason.
I agree that they are not voracious eaters. I've been chasing them for the last 3 months with none to show for it. A few blow ups and some chases but I seem to catch just LM. I grew up in Upstate NY fishing Northern Pike on top water in the pads and love it. I see these snakeheads as filling that void if I could just get one to stay on the hook!
I've seen LM bass in the stomach of a LM bass. Talk about voracious eaters, a LM will eat ANYTHING! Largemouth bass were not native to all of the US but stocking has them in 48 of the 50 states now. I'm not advocating stocking any snakeheads but I am willing to take advantage of a sporty fish that lives right in my backyard now. I wonder if the future holds snakehead boats, Snakehead masters tournaments, Snakehead pro shops, the snakehead tour and the snakehead people reality show.
Steve, Stafford, VA
Fish out of Solomons Island and Lower Potomac
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