SNAKEHEADS

Frankenfish invading local waterways

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Veteran angler Brian Wilhoit was stunned when he pulled a snakehead out of Four Mile Run in Arlington. The waterway hadn't seen the predatory fish until recently.

"The snakeheads have pretty much almost taken over here," he said. "They're everywhere and they're huge."

The so-called "frankenfish" has teeth, can breathe and move out of water. It's considered a predatory and undesirable exotic species by the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is blamed for the vanishing populations of Potomac River shad, bass and even frogs. Importation of snakeheads is against the law.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries authorities confirm the discovery of the snakehead in what's believed to be one of the most urban waterways to date.

Arlington County naturalist Alonso Abugattas said, "now they're getting into places where we didn't think they're going to get or where they are potentially going to cause a lot more damage."

There is no word on how the snakehead made it into Four Mile Run.

As Brian Wilhoit said, "they're in here now, they're in here to stay."

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