Invasive Fish Species Discovered in Md.

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011  |  Updated 6:52 AM EDT
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The snakehead fish is a top-level predator that can crowd out other fish species.

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Scientists have discovered a northern snakehead - a toothy invasive fish that can live out of water - in Anne Arundel County.

Biologists from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center were taking annual fish samples last week when they found the 23-inch egg-bearing snakehead in the Rhode River. The center reported the catch to the Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The fish, which are native to Asia, first received local attention in 2002 when they were found in a Crofton pond. The snakehead is a top-level predator and can crowd out native fish. It can breathe air, survive on land and adapt and thrive in foreign environments.

Scientists are exploring whether low salinity levels in the Chesapeake Bay allowed the snakehead to travel to Rhode River.

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