Catch and kill the fish from hell - and win a prize!

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Anglers in the US are being offered prizes for catching and destroying highly invasive snakeheads.

Dubbed "the fish from hell" the Northern snakehead (Channa argus) has also been given the name "Fishzilla" by National Geographic.

The problem species, which can reach 1m/40" or more, is native to China, Russia, North Korea and South Korea but is thought to have been introduced into US waterways through Asian seafood merchants, devastating the country's ecosystems.  

The fish are hardy enough to survive up to four days on land, and can roam up to 400m between bodies of water by wriggling on their fins.

Wildlife officials in Maryland have introduced the new reward scheme, offering gift cards from fishing stores to the value of £126, along with discounts on boat hire and other prizes as an incentive to get anglers to help control these problem fish.

Anglers who wish to be involved just need to post a picture of themselves with a dead snakehead they have caught in Maryland on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website.

A spokesman for the DNR said that while it did not expect snakeheads to be completely eradicated through the scheme, it would help to control the population, and the information gained from the anglers' reports would aid in assessing the abundance, spread and impact of these alien fish.

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