ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 19 — A panel of scientists today
recommended poisoning a pond that has become home to a
growing population of carnivorous Chinese fish as the
best way to ensure they do not escape and spread throughout
The panel's 12 members agreed that the state needed
to eradicate the fish, the northern snakehead, which grows
to three feet long and feeds voraciously on other fish.
Failure to do so would risk disrupting the ecosystem,
"You're talking about a total rearrangement of the food
chain when you introduce a top predator like this," said
Dr. Walter Courtenay, an ichthyologist with the United
States Geological Survey in Florida.
The panel considered several ways to get rid of the
snakeheads, including removing them through trapping,
netting and electroshock stunning. But those options would
not ensure that every last fish was killed. The group
also considered draining and filtering the pond, but that
posed logistical difficulties.