CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—There’s more proof an invasive fish from China feels right at home here in Maryland.

WJZ’s Alex DeMetrick reports, it’s the Snakehead that didn’t get away.

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Todd Murphy caught an armful in a Charles County. He spotted the Snakehead fish in a tributary of the Potomac River while night fishing.

“And I actually thought the Snakehead was a log at first, it was kind of sticking up out of the grass. And then I got looking and said, ‘Wow that’s a Snakehead,’” said Murphy.

Todd said the fish was caught with a bow and arrow and weighed in at 17.47 pounds. According to the DNR, it’s the largest Snakehead ever caught in the state.

“That’ll be good for him, but I think more importantly he’ll probably feel the benefits of removing one of those big fish from the waterway, preventing it from reproducing and preventing it from eating other fish in the water,” said Joseph Love,  DNR Inland Fisheries.

Which they’ve been doing since first discovered in a Crofton pound in 2002.

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Deliberately released, the invasive Snakeheads bred and escaped into the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers.

Just last month they were found in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Potomac Maryland, meaning they found a way upstream, above the natural barrier of Great Falls.

DNR said people have claimed to have caught even bigger Snakeheads up to 19 pounds, but the number was never officially recorded.

As for eating the Snakeheads?

Todd intends to do the same but will let a Baltimore Chef prepare it.

According to the DNR, catching and eating enough Snakeheads, or otherwise disposing of them, is the only hope of controlling their numbers.

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