Md. encouraging people to help reduce invasive catfish with new - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Md. encouraging people to help reduce invasive catfish with new campaign

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MARBURY, Md. -

Move over snakeheads. Blue and flathead catfish are now competing for title of most hated fish in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is kicking off an awareness campaign and is asking the public to "Eat 'em, to Beat 'em."

The invasive catfish are native to rivers in Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio, but were introduced to the Virginia area in the 1960s as sport fish.

Steve Vilnit, Director of Marketing for the DNR, says, "We need to get rid of them. They're an invasive species. They're out-competing our native species, so we really just need to get them out of the water to help the eco system."

The fish can grow to 100 pounds and are eating just about everything, from shad, rockfish, bass and blue crabs.

State officials are asking fishermen not to catch and release, but to catch and eat them.


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