Kent I

Yet another challenge for stripers

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As if overfishing, poaching and poor water quality weren't enough, Maryland DNR has reported that snakeheads have been showing up in the fish lifts at Connowingo Dam. Connowingo is the first dam on the Sesquehannah river, and is just above Sesquehannah flats...breeding central for the East Coast striper population. While it hasn't been shown that there is a correlation between snakehead populations and the health of other gamefish populations, the establishment of a species that preys mostly on small aquatic animals can't be good news for for juvenile stripers. In addition, dimwitted snakehead enthusiasts seem to have transplanted them widely in the freshwater streams of Eastern Maryland, so that virtually every trip on the Eastern Shore now has snakeheads. This should be a jailable offense, but even if it were, good luck catching them. 

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2 hours ago, Kent I said:

As if overfishing, poaching and poor water quality weren't enough, Maryland DNR has reported that snakeheads have been showing up in the fish lifts at Connowingo Dam. Connowingo is the first dam on the Sesquehannah river, and is just above Sesquehannah flats...breeding central for the East Coast striper population. While it hasn't been shown that there is a correlation between snakehead populations and the health of other gamefish populations, the establishment of a species that preys mostly on small aquatic animals can't be good news for for juvenile stripers. In addition, dimwitted snakehead enthusiasts seem to have transplanted them widely in the freshwater streams of Eastern Maryland, so that virtually every trip on the Eastern Shore now has snakeheads. This should be a jailable offense, but even if it were, good luck catching them. 

 

Snakeheads are one of a large multitude of non-native predatory species found in those water ways.

 

It isn't like musky, walleye, smallies, and largemouth bass don't kill their share of juvenile stripers.

 

 

So what is your point?

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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My point is that an apex predator has been unnecessarily introduced into the nursery for most of the stripers on the east coast. Would you rather come on down here and catch snakeheads or go out to the coast and catch stripers?

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Snakeheads are well established in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Going to be pretty hard to remove them at this point. 

 

So you’re aggrieved about this and venting. Duly noted. 

 

Coincidently, a tributary I’ve boated and fished ever since I was a little kid that has kicked out a fair share of giant stripers in the 40-50 pound range recently produced the world record snakehead — the occoquan river. 

 

Been a while since I’ve fished that river though. 

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Nobody "planted" those snakeheads at the conowingo. The entire bay and its tributaries are inundated with them.

 

Based off of my personal experiences, I have not seen snakeheads completely decimate lakes or even ponds for that matter. They are an incredibly fun fish to target and if you're interested they taste very good as well.

 

The bass are much more threatened by overnutrification from farm run off and toxic storm water runoff, or natural phenomenons than any predator in the ocean. .

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2 hours ago, Captain Ahab said:

I bet the bass eat the snakeheads young

 

 

 

Of course probably vise versa

According to a snakehead fisherman I talked to, the LMBs chow down on snakehead young with gusto. He didn't say anything about stripers, but they probably do as well if they have the opportunity.

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48 mins ago, DragonsLax48 said:

Nobody "planted" those snakeheads at the conowingo. The entire bay and its tributaries are inundated with them.

 

Based off of my personal experiences, I have not seen snakeheads completely decimate lakes or even ponds for that matter. They are an incredibly fun fish to target and if you're interested they taste very good as well.

 

The bass are much more threatened by overnutrification from farm run off and toxic storm water runoff, or natural phenomenons than any predator in the ocean. .

I don't know about the snakeheads at Connowingo, but DNR recently did some DNA testing of snakehead populations, and the fish that are now in the Eastern Shore tribes are genetically

identical to populations in Delaware. It's their opinion that they were intentionally introduced.

You're certainly right that farm and urban stormwater runoff are a bigger problem for the bass.

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8 mins ago, Kent I said:

I don't know about the snakeheads at Connowingo, but DNR recently did some DNA testing of snakehead populations, and the fish that are now in the Eastern Shore tribes are genetically

identical to populations in Delaware. It's their opinion that they were intentionally introduced.

You're certainly right that farm and urban stormwater runoff are a bigger problem for the bass.

Thanks for clarifying. I figured these fish would be from the potomac or another snakehead dense waterway in the chesapeake.

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From what I have read, the snakehead population did not have anywhere near the devastating effect on other fish populations as they originally thought.  Turns out, snakeheads and largemouth bass are thriving in brackish tidal environments, side by side.  The MD DNR has backed off of the original mandatory kill policy from several years back.  Now the official reg is "Persons wishing to release a live snakehead may do so provided it is immediate and directly back into the waters from which it came. For those willing, we actively encourage the targeting and harvest of every snakehead caught."  It is, of course, illegal to transport live fish.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

16 hours ago, Kent I said:

My point is that an apex predator has been unnecessarily introduced into the nursery for most of the stripers on the east coast. Would you rather come on down here and catch snakeheads or go out to the coast and catch stripers?

 

All the fish worth catching in those rivers were unnecessarily introduced and have permanently changed the ecosystem.

 

Pointing your finger at the most recent arrival while ignoring the aggressive fw apex predators that already exist is just a little silly. The predators already in those bodies of water do more then their share of harm. Getting worked up about the snakeheads would be like being stuck in a traffic jam on the beltway and getting upset when you see another car come off the on ramp, what difference does it make at this point.

 

 

Personally, I would rather catch the stripers then any freshwater fish; except flatheads and blue cats. Getting back to fw fish only, regarding snakeheads, I would rather catch them then walleye, musky, lmb, and smb.

 

I would love to see snakeheads get dumped into our rivers out here in Western PA.

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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The original doomsday forecast when snakeheads were found in the Potomac and its tributaries in 2003-2005 were shown to have been largely overblown, and they are now considered part of the ecosystem. They exist with the largemouth, stripers, and other gamefish and are caught on nearly every outing I’ve experienced, and like BelAirSteve noted about MD, Virginia now also allows the release of them as well. 

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