Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Invasive Snakehead Fish Spotted in Georgia for First Time

Invasive Snakehead Fish Spotted in Georgia for First Time

The fish - which are native to the Yangtze River basin - pose a serious threat to indigenous wildlife as they compete for food and habitat.

People in the USA are being urged to kill and freeze an invasive Chinese northern snakehead fish after some were found in a pond in Gwinnett County, Georgia, earlier this month. Here's why - the snakehead devours everything in its path.

"This unique adaptation and their ability to travel over land to new bodies of water by wiggling their bodies over the ground, gives the snakehead a competitive edge over other fishes", the task force site says.

But more alarmingly, the fish "can breathe air" and also "can survive in low oxygenated systems", state officials said. The only good news. they don't eat humans, so this won't be a "Sharknado" situation.

The northern snakehead is native to China but has already been spotted in multiple USA states, including Maryland, California, Arkansas and Virginia. That's why they call fishermen the "first line of defense". "We would ask say anglers that do catch a snakehead to kill it immediately".

Whereas the native Bow fish has a shorter dorsal fin on its belly. Let's be careful out there, people.

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"Thanks to the quick report by an angler, our staff was able to investigate and confirm the presence of this species in this water body", said Matt Thomas, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division.

Though it's the first confirmed sighting of the species in Georgia, snakeheads have been reported in 14 states.

The snakehead is a long, thin fish that looks similar to the native bowfin.

The Northern snakehead have an "air bladder", according to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, and can spend four days out of water. Remember where and when you found it and immediately report it to the office's Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Office.

State officials urge anglers to kill them.

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