America is under assault from a predatory fish with nightmarish superpowers – but where many see an environmental crisis, one deckanddockboxes.com customer sees an opportunity.
“I’m not going to lie,” Mike Loem explains, “they sound like something out of a horror movie. They can breath out of water for up to four days, and even crawl across the ground with their fins. And they eat anything.”
He’s talking about Channa argus, more commonly known as the Northern Snakehead. This highly invasive fish species is becoming more and more common across the waters of the United States; and its bringing environmental disaster in its wake.
“Back in 2002, a guy in Maryland released two of them into the Potomac river,” Mike explains, “and they thrived.” These predatory fish are on the top of the aquatic food-chain; eating other fish, frogs – and even unlucky creatures like mice and rats – while breeding prolifically.
“Since 2002, they’ve spread to New York, Florida, California, Maryland, North Carolina and even Arkansas,” Mike explains, “wiping out the native fish species. The Department of Environmental Conservation has taken to poisoning rivers and lakes where they’re found with Rotenone – which kills all the fish in it; which is seen as preferable to letting the Snakehead spread.”
But while many are concerned about the spread of the Snakehead, veteran angler Mike sees an opportunity.
“Snakehead are causing so much concern that local authorities are actually paying a bounty to each one fisherman catch,” he explains. “Down in Maryland, they’ll give you $200 in credit to the Bass Pro Shops” and for a man who loves fishing, that’s quite a reward. And even if he doesn’t end up earning a bounty – there’s another reason for angling for snakeheads: “They’re great eating.” Snakeheads are fast becoming a more ethical alternative to swordfish; and share its same consistency and size.
“Chasing Snakeheads means I get to combine the two things I love to do most – catch fish, and spend money on fishing gear!”
One piece of fishing gear Mike is especially proud of is his Large Fishing Rod Storage Box. Made from marine-grade fiberglass, it’s the perfect tool for him to store his three professional rods in throughout the year.
“I keep it on my porch,” Mike explains, “and it keeps my rods safe and dry all year round.” Featuring rustproof stainless hardware that’s molded into the fiberglass body, Mike can padlock the box safe in the knowledge that his neighbors won’t be making off with his fishing rods – or the potentially rich-pickings he’ll earn with them by catching Snakeheads.