USA – Another invasive species from a different part of the world that has immigrated to United States, but unlike the lanterfly that was a hitchhiker. The Snakehead was brought here on purpose heres why.
The snake head is a pretty interesting and aggressive fish that can grow up to around 3 feet total in length. These fish were brought into this country for aquarists, and for live food markets as some people eat them. This happened prior to the Lacey Act in 2002 and now its illegal to to have snakeheads in some states.
Amateur Aquarists who didnt realize the full potential of the size of this fish dumped unwanted pet fish into waterways and thats how the invasion started, and these fish as a natural predator like a Northern Pike they can adapt to their situation.
Snakeheads come from Asia and Africa countries and there the countries sometimes have waters that dry up from the heat so the fish has adapted to breathe oxygen, called a labyrinth fish like the betta fish you see in pet stores, and they can slither across sections of dry land like a eel to traverse waterways. This is what has Fish and Wildlife on alert when it comes to this fish, and its already been reported in many states.
Fishery scientists have found individuals of four species in waters of California, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Reproducing populations, however, have been documented only in Florida, Hawaii,
and Maryland. The blotched snakehead (Channa maculata) has thrived in Oahu, Hawaii, for more than a century; the bullseye snakehead (C. marulius) was discovered thriving in Florida in 2000. An isolated reproducing population of northern snakeheads was eradicated in Maryland in 2002. Captures of north- ern snakeheads of several different
sizes in the Potomac River, Maryland.
Now Georgia ODNR has reported seeing them in their waters and are asking fisherman to kill them on sight.
“Northern snakehead are bad news. And for the first time, the invasive fish has been confirmed in Georgia waters. If you believe you have caught a northern snakehead:
– DO NOT RELEASE IT.
– Kill it immediately and freeze it.
– If possible, take pictures of the fish.
– Note where it was caught (waterbody, landmarks or GPS coordinates).
– Immediately report it to your regional Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Office.”
The Snakehead females each can produce over 50,000 eggs in one spawn per year.