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Snake-Charmer

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In the 1990s, Florida canals began to be inundated with bullseye snakeheads, a non-native species originally from Southeast Asia. 

Charlie Levine

As I drive into a park located on the western border of Broward county, The sun is barely peeking above the clusters two-story McMansions which stop abruptly at the Florida wilds. Corey Nowakowski is sitting in the driver’s seat of the only other vehicle in the parking lot. The world record snakehead angler rolls the window down on his Toyota Tacoma in order to say hello. The “snakehead slayer” sticker on the rear window of his truck and the 10-foot jonboat sticking out past the tailgate gave him away.

My glasses fog up instantly as I step from my truck onto the muggy morning of August. Nowakowski invites me to his truck. We drive about a mile down the road, before Nowakowski pulls over by a small footbridge. We take the boat from the truck and slide it down an embankment until we reach a canal. We load a battery, trolling motor, and cooler into the truck. Velcro is used to hold a half dozen rods in place on the benches. Before we take off down the canal, Nowakowski parks his truck tight to a row of tall bushes so it’s less visible…



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