Snakeheads Found In Howard County, MD

From:  Sue Muller, Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks, Natural & Heritage Resources Division.

6/10/15.  “I would like to keep everyone informed when I learn of new problems.  Last night I was having a casual talk with a fisherman when he mentioned he had caught a Snakehead in Savage Park.  Most of us probably remember the first Snakeheads found in Maryland several years ago in a pond in Crofton.  This is an invasive, non-native species and can upset an ecosystem.  It has no natural predators here in the USA and it preys heavily on smaller fish.  Just take a look at the size of the one in the photo.  The photo is from Sean Ferritor and he actually caught four.  They were all taken and eaten.  So if you like to fish, head on over to the Savage Mill Trail in Savage.  It is located at the intersections of Gorman Road and Foundry Street in Savage.” 

6/15/15 Update.  Sue Muller writes in an e-mail that she has confirmation of seven mature snakehead being caught to date at Savage Mill, with one being caught on Sunday, June 14, 2015.  This new information helps to verify that a localized population occurs on this reach of river.


Note the hair jig that Sean Ferritor was using.

Mark’s Insert:  The exact location of where the fish were caught was at the Bollman Truss Bridge Historical Site at Savage Mill on the Little Patuxent River.   South and downstream of this site, the Little Patuxent flows through Fort Meade, the U.S. FWS Patuxent Wildlife Refuge and down into Crofton along Route 3.

Just north of Savage Mill (upstream), the Little Patuxent merges at a confluence with the larger Middle Patuxent River, which includes Gorman Park, Johns Hopkins Advanced Physics Laboratory, Robinson Nature Center, the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, and the tributaries of the Burchick residence (Clarksville) that flow to the Middle Patuxent River.

The endemic fisheries that I have seen/caught on the Middle Patuxent and in my own backyard include, bluegill and other sunfish, smallmouth bass, dace, shiner, chub, minnow and fall fish, yellow perch and red-eye bass.  This reach of river includes the Gorman Park trout release, all the way down the fall line to Savage Mill.

Further south of Savage Mill is a stronghold for the Maryland highly state rare (S1) glassy darter.  This does not bode well for the watershed.