No Snakehead Bounty, Just a Raffle
Officials with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources were scrambling early this week to tamp down a storyâin many news outletsâthat the state was offering a $200 bounty on every snakehead caught in Maryland waters.
The reality is the same as last year: Snakehead catchers can register for a random drawing and maybe win a $200 gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops at Arundel Mills, a âPassportâ state park pass or a fishing license. But somehow the message morphed into a bounty-for-every-fish story that went world-wideâincluding a video put up by the Detroit Free Press and this Christian Science Monitor piece that remains uncorrected.
âWe got some calls from Bass Pro,â says Joe Evans, a DNR spokesman. âApparently there were some people bringing fish [to the store], demanding their gift certificates.â
Evans says he spent time earlier this week writing e-mails to editors at ABC News, United Press International, and many other outlets. He says he thinks a reporter for AOL/Patch somewhere out of state started the false rumor, but he said he wasnât entirely sure where it originated. âWe read and re-read our release,â he says. âAnd we couldnât see howâ it was misconstrued.
So, OK, repeat: you will not receive a $200 certificate for your snakehead. You will receive a chance to win the cert or another prize. Same deal as last year. Here’s the original release. The drawing is Nov. 30.
Oh, and did we mention, catching these things is its own reward. They fight like hell, and they taste delicious, Evans says.
âReally firm, white meat,â says Evans. âThey work well on a grill. Broil âem. They take on the flavor of whatever you want it. Iâm not gonna necessarily compare it to chickenâŚâ.