Thanks to a bill signed by Governor Ralph Northam signed a law last week, it will be legal come July to sell snakehead fish, an invasive species that is spreading fast in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Legislation swam through the General Assembly this year despite concerns by some that commercializing the Asian invader would encourage people to stock it in Virginia waterways. The hope is that legalizing sales will encourage more anglers to catch the piscine predator, thus slowing its growth in numbers and the threat it poses to good ol’ Virginia fish.
The hard part, I expect, will be persuading customers to eat a fish named snakehead. Restaurateurs have a real branding challenge.
Rocky and Blair Denson, owners of Denson’s Grocery and Oyster Bar in Colonial Beach where Northam signed the legislation, have no qualms. They say they plan to put snakehead on the menu as soon as it becomes legal to do so. Reports the Free Lance-Star:
They will serve fried “snakehead bites” with a remoulade dip.
“Malicious, yet delicious” is how a good friend of Rocky Denson describes the freshwater predator, which will eat just about anything.
“Fried, dipped in remoulade, it’s fabulous,”
I admire their panache. But all I can say is, “Good luck with that!”