Invasive fish and other species are those that have been introduced to the Bay ecosystem and are known to cause ecological and/or economic harm.
Left unchecked, invasive species can reduce biodiversity, compete with native species for limited resources, alter habitats and even cause extinction.
What CCA Virginia is Doing
Started in 2021, the Great Chesapeake Invasives Count is a CCA based effort to use recreational angling activities to capture location, length and stomach contents data of norther snakehead, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.
Each of these species can have a different impact on the waterways they inhabit. CCA's focus is to educate the public on these impacts, and empower anglers to understand why the spreading of these fish is not allowed, or good for the future of our native fisheries.
Fun to catch and eat for some, and catch and release for others, CCA supports ongoing dialog around actions that can find success for the greater Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, and supporting economically valuable recreational fishing activities.
Invasive Fish Species
First discovered in Virginia’s part of the Potomac River in 2004, Northern Snakeheads have spread throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.They fight hard and good to eat, making them a popular sport fish, and worthy adversary on hook and line.
Virginia’s tidal rivers continue to provide excellent fishing opportunities for catching trophy Blue Catfish. CCA Virginia supports ongoing research to determine what impacts this tasty, hard-fighting game fish is having on Virginia’s native fishes.
Although there is value in maintaining a population to afford trophy cat-fishing opportunities, CCA Virginia supports additional research to determine how Flathead Catfish are impacting Virginia’s native fishes.