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Great Lakes Article:

Poison Alien Fish, Experts Recommend


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 Maryland's waterways.

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, they agreed.

"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.

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