VIRGINIA

Snakehead fish moves into Rappahannock River

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - The invasive northern snakehead fish has moved into the Rappahannock River.

A VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist pries open a snakehead's mouth after catching it on Little Hunting Creek near Mount Vernon in 2006. AP Photo.

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist John Odenkirk tells the Free Lance-Star that an angler caught a snakehead last July in Ruffins Pond, which feeds into a tributary of the Rappahannock. Since then, snakeheads have been caught at several sites downriver in the lower Rappahannock.

Odenkirk says the fish likely can now be found anywhere in the river.

He says wildlife officials hope to contain the snakeheads and keep them out of other Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

The snakehead is native to Asia and is a top-level predator that can crowd out native fish.

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