MIDDLE RIVER, MD—The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is teaming up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host its second annual snakehead derby at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Middle River. Snakes on the Dundee II will take place on June 25 at Dundee Creek Marina.
Anglers of all ages are invited to participate in this free event, which features fishing lessons, door prizes, a fileting demonstration, a fish printing activity, and cooking techniques. Prizes will be awarded in two age groups, for anglers 17 and younger or 18 and older.
The northern snakehead is an invasive fish species native to Asia. Introduced into the Chesapeake Bay watershed in the early 2000s, it has successfully adapted and now is found in waters throughout Maryland. Its ability to thrive in any habitat, its diet of numerous species, and its frequent spawning has made it a priority for DNR to sponsor derbies and other incentives to harvest the fish.
In 2021, Gunpowder Falls held the first Snakes on the Dundee, in which more than 100 anglers participated.
“We are proud to offer this free, family-friendly day of fishing and fun at Gunpowder Falls State Park’s Dundee Creek Marina,” Gunpowder Falls State Park Manager Mike Browning said. “This derby is a great way to share information about this invasive fish, promote their harvest, and learn how to cook this delicious invader.”
Participation in Snakes on the Dundee II is free, but registration is required. Anglers over the age of 16 must possess a Maryland Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fish License to participate in the derby. The full event schedule is on the DNR website.
The department encourages everyone who catches a northern snakehead to harvest it and not return it to the water. If the snakehead has a tag, the angler should measure the length, make a note of the exact location of capture, and call the toll free number printed on the tag.
Photo via Maryland Department of Natural Resources