Fish and Wildlife Service factsheet for a comparison of the northern snakehead fish to the burbot and bowfin here: Northern snakehead fish. Snakeheads are thought to have entered the wild when they were released from home aquariums, perhaps when they grew too large or too expensive to keep. The largemouth bass, native to other U. So what is the truth about snakehead fish? Snakeheads have an elongated body. The species is well established in the Potomac River and several of its tributaries in Virginia and Maryland Starnes et al. At the same time, the media has continued to report false information about northern snakeheads, inducing irrational fears about personal safety and potential impacts.
Disease Scientists fear that the snakehead fish is able to spread parasites or diseases. Kill it, freeze it in a double bag and then report the fish and its location to a local natural resource agency for documentation. It may take years to find the answers, which is why caution is needed in the present. If northern snakeheads do have some ecological impact in the Potomac, largemouth bass are likely to suffer, says U. At some point, the population should level off as competition for resources such as food and habitat become limiting, but current data suggest this has not yet occurred. Capable of growing to over 1 m in length 3. Evolutionary genetics of invasive species.
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136: 1633-1639. Northern snakeheads in the tidal Potomac River system. They have long cigar-shaped bodies, large mouths with a protruding lower jaw and sharp teeth and long dorsal and anal fins. I believe that these particular fish will bite, however, they are not going to go out of their way to attack you. Northern snakeheads are native to northern China and eastern Russia. Every radio-tagged fish that we tracked was hidden when we approached, and we saw very few fish in the turbid, weedy waters of the Potomac River, despite being within 1 m of most.
Snakehead Fish Facts Aquarium Fish? The information has not received final approval by the U. The way the biologists see it, the fish were getting ready to spawn. Gascho Landis and Lapointe 2010 did find that parent fish will stay with their young up to 4 weeks to increase juvenile survival. They are also popular aquarium fish and are valued for their aggressive natures and toughness. They have no natural predators in North America and may be a serious threat to native wildlife.
This allows for the potential ability to move from one body of water to another using its pectoral fins, but the process is slow and usually unsuccessful. It used to be believed to have an oddly , inhabiting both Southeast Asia and southwest India, about 2,500 km 1,600 mi apart. . Some are even sold as feeders to be fed to larger carnivorous fish. I think that every country is experiencing problems with invasive species, and Australia have the cane toads, as well as feral pigs, feral camels, cattle, donkeys etc. Successful eradication has been done with a chemical called Rotenone when dealing with individuals and small populations.
It can grow up to five feet long. Perhaps the fact that longnose gar are very shy and difficult to hook has kept them from becoming a popular sport fish. An invasive species is an introduced, nonnative organism disease, parasite, plant, or animal that begins to spread or expand its range from the site of its original introduction and that has the potential to cause harm to the environment, the economy, or to human health. But it may knock them out for a while. When they eat it is a thrust predator; That is to say it will eat its prey all at once, striking and ingesting it whole. You can limit its diet to just smaller fish if you are keeping it in a fish tank. Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources National Invasive Species Week 2015 is February 22-28.
A female lays thousands of eggs at a time, and both parents guard their offspring in a large nest they make in a clearing of aquatic plants. The northern snakehead is native to China, Korea, and Russia and has spread to other areas of Southeast Asia. Establishing populations of this species was notoriously difficult, and many millions of individuals had to be introduced, often in the same system, before a population would take hold. Local Concern: As with many non-native and invasive species, snakehead fish have no natural predators in the United States. The pelvic fins are located on the undersurface almost directly below the pectoral fins. It is illegal to possess snakehead fish in thirteen states, but not in Maryland, the District of Columbia or Virginia. Waters with snakehead fish presence can be treated using chemicals.
Hi Isabella, Thanks for stopping by Wild Facts. Anglers should be warned that there are consumption advisories for most Potomac River species e. The fish has a reputation as a fearsome and even vicious predator. The population in Catlin Creek, New York was also treated with rotenone. In Massachusetts, one was caught in 2001 and a second in 2004. In the wild, they say, small dugouts can be rocked about by the big ones.
The presence of wild snakeheads in North America worries some conservation officers and officials very much. Thats right, as the name implies, holes in its head develop and if not treated will surely kill it. In scientific terms, snakeheads are divided into two distinct genera: Channa snakeheads of Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia Parachanna African snakeheads In the summer of 2002 and again in late spring 2004, Channa argus , the northern snakehead, generated. Channa argus has a moderate probability for establishment if introduced to the Great Lakes Confidence level: Moderate Channa argus is established in Arkansas, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, but is not established in California, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, or North Carolina, where only a few individual fish have been collected. Besides Crofton and the Potomac, the fish have popped up in several other places in the United States.