Early still receives about two calls a week from locals who think they've seen snakeheads. One Baltimorean even inquired about a fish trapped in his toilet. Alas, the only confirmed sighting outside the pond was in Fells Point, and Early believes that one was a publicity stunt.
"The find in Crofton is what really got the nation's attention to this," Courtenay said.
If Maryland officials hadn't reacted quickly, Courtenay said, the fish would almost certainly have migrated into the Little Patuxent River after this year's rains.
With Crofton out of the woods, residents can't resist having some fun with their most famous one-time neighbor. Some use the fish as a reference point when describing where they're from. Others keep scrapbooks. Many are talking about the Smithsonian's snakehead book and the Sci-Fi Channel's movie, both expected in the fall.
"It ate most of the fish, so they had to get rid of it," explained 10-year-old McKenzie Beiler, who wrote about the snakehead for a social studies class.
DNR is displaying a few snakeheads at its Cedarville visitors center, which is open Tuesdays and Thursdays. Their numbers are dwindling because the fish keep eating each other. Nevertheless, scientists keep the tanks behind three locked gates and two locked doors, just to be sure they stay put.
That's a smart move, said Yin Yankee Cafe chef Jerry Trice, who had concocted soups, sushi and ceviche out of live snakeheads until the ban. Once, a snakehead escaped from a sealed cooler at the Annapolis restaurant and sauntered toward City Dock before Trice caught it. Now, the Yin Yankee's snakehead dishes come from frozen fillets - not as tasty, but much safer.
"It's definitely a fish I would not turn my back on," Trice said.
Many in Crofton say they have no intention of doing that.
"A lot of people feel connected to it," Berkshire said. "This fish is going to be famous for a long time."