BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are partnering to offer gift cards to fishers who reel in the invasive northern snakeheads.

In an effort to track and contain the species, the agencies are placing yellow or blue tags on up to 500 northern snakeheads and offering gift cards of $10 and $200 depending on the tag to people who catch them. The reward is in place until 2024.

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The person who harvests the fish is must report the tag number to USFWS at 800-448-8322 and take a picture of the specimen in order to qualify.

“By measuring the amount of northern snakehead harvested, the agencies will learn if population benchmarks are being reached and help control the spread of the species,” Maryland DNR said in a news release.

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Found in parts of the Chesapeake Bay and the Blackwater River, the northern snakehead eats other fish, and is one of the top predators in the upper parts of the bay and the river.

Harvesting snakeheads will reduce “predation pressure” on other species, and the invasive fish is reportedly “flavorful and nutrious,” per Maryland DNR.

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CBS Baltimore Staff