Twelve invasive species
Northern Snakehead Fish
Image credit: Susan Trammell, Bugwood.org
- What is it? A voracious predator, up to four feet long with sharp teeth and the ability to breath air as well as use gills.
- Where’s it from? Northern China and eastern Russia
- How did it get here? Sold as live fish food at some markets, even in states where it is illegal to sell.
- Where is it now? It is now found in the Potomac River and many of its tributaries.
- What’s the harm? Snakeheads have the potential to drastically alter freshwater ecosystems by out-competing native fish species, including many sport fish. It may also introduce yet another non-native species, a fungal disease that can harm native fish and stock in fish farms.
- What’s being done? Continued monitoring of the population.
- How can you learn more? www.fishwild.vt.edu/snakeheads/Facts.html How to identify a snakehead fish and what to do if you catch one: www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/snakeheads.asp