Snakehead Fish Not Killed Easily
Fredricka Whitfield, Kathleen Koch
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The Maryland pond where the voracious northern snakehead fish was found in
June got a dose of poison today, but it could take weeks before the fish is
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: It's a new take on an old story, man
against nature. The Maryland pond where the voracious northern snakehead
fish was found in June got a dose of poison today, but Kathleen Koch reports
it could take weeks before the freaky Frankenfish is dead.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No mobs of angry villagers
like in the old Frankenstein flicks, just masses of media on hand to witness
the demise of Frankenfish, or at least he beginning of the end.
Officials are using herbicides to kill the vegetation first so they can
better spot the enemy. Even environmentalists say when it comes to the
voracious three-foot-long snakehead, it's a matter of kill or be killed.
BOB BLOCK, NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE FISH ASSN.: The snakehead has the potential
to preside over mass extinctions throughout the East Coast if it gets out
from this pond.
KOCH: Entire fish populations jeopardized by the Chinese import dumped in
the pond by its owner two years ago. After spraying, officials say dying
plants will deplete oxygen in the pond killing most fish. They'll follow up
in seven to ten days with a fish poison just to be sure. They insist the
air-breathing, land-walking snakehead won't get away.
ERIC SCHWAAB, MARYLAND DEPT. OF NATURAL RESOURCES: We would expect, you
know, particularly as oxygen levels in the pond go down to see some gulping
behavior but we don't expect, for example, some kind of a mass exodus of
fish trying to, you know, climb out of the pond.
KOCH: Just in case, a fence and sandbags block Frankenfish's escape route to
the Little Patuxent River. Even the owner of two small nearby ponds being
poisoned says it's all for the best.
BILL BERKSHIRE, POND OWNER: We all want to protect the environment and I
think that's the goal the state has and we have the same goal.
KOCH (on camera): All this doesn't mean curtains for the Crofton Pond.
Maryland officials will restock it in the string and it should be back to
normal in about three years.
(voice-over): Not everyone's happy to see Frankenfish go, like Joe Gillespie
who caught one.
JOE GILLESPIE, FISHERMAN: It was kind of exciting. I wouldn't mind if they
put a big fence around there and let us fish them out when they got bigger.
KOCH: Or folks cashing in on the fish frenzy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we just thought we'd make the most of it.
KOCH: While you can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While we can, yes.
KOCH: They hope even after death, the legend of Frankenfish will linger.
Kathleen Koch, CNN, Crofton, Maryland
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