It's ugly, it's mean, and it's seductively hard to hook. The Snakehead fish, a native of East Asia and recent immigrant to the Potomac River watershed, has divided those wary of its potential environmental impact and those who see it as the next big thing in sport fishing. Some entrepreneurial anglers are already offering guided trips to chase snakehead.
But many fear the large, toothy carnivore, capable of breathing air and surviving for days out of water, could disturb the balance of the local aquatic ecosystem. Only a few years after introduction, their numbers could already be in the thousands; an effort to enlist fishermen to cut the population a couple of years ago came up dry: nobody could figure out how to catch them.