CECIL COUNTY, MD. (WJZ) — 81 northern snakehead fish were caught in the Conowingo Dam’s fish lift this spring, a dramatic increase after only one snakehead was found there the past two years.

While all of the known snakeheads were stopped and dealt with before reaching the dam’s reservoir, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and its partners warn there may be more coming into the Susquehanna River.

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Two fish lifts were installed on the east and west sides of the Conowingo Dam decades ago to let migratory fish like the American shad and river herring pass through.

All snakeheads captured this year were in the west side of the dam.

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In 2017, one snakehead was seen coming from the lower Susquehanna River and upstream to Conowingo Pond through the east fish lift, MDNR said.

They were first spotted in Maryland waters in 2002.

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Anglers can catch and keep any size and any number of snakeheads year-round to help reduce the population. Anglers are also asked to report snakeheads caught in Maryland to fishingreports.dnr@maryland.gov or 410-260-8300.