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Got hush puppies? Maryland residents asked to eat catfish

US-catfish--265x300Folks in Maryland are about to find out what Mississippians already know — catfish are tasty — as the state looks to avoid an environmental disaster.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it aims to reduce the number of invasive blue and flathead catfish in the state’s waterways, partly by encouraging people to eat them.

The agency is announcing the campaign today at Smallwood State Park near Marbury, Md., in Charles County.

The DNR says the event will feature a cooking demonstration and catfish tasting, along with new public information signs.

Blue and flathead catfish are native to the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio river basins. They were introduced into several rivers in Virginia starting in the 1960s and are now found in some major tribal tributaries in Maryland.

Experts say the fish can grow bigger than 100 pounds. The adults have few natural predators and consume native species of fish and shellfish.

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