Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Science | By

Northern Snakehead Fish found in Georgia

Northern Snakehead Fish found in Georgia

Georgia wildlife officials said an invasive species of fish that can live on land has been found in the state for the first time ever.

"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".

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

But more alarmingly, the fish "can breathe air" and also "can survive in low oxygenated systems", state officials said.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources issued an alert about the fish this week and gave instructions for what to do if you think you've caught one.

Officials said it is illegal to possess, import or sell any species of snakehead fish in Georgia without a license. "Non-native invasive species, such as the northern snakehead, have the potential to affect native species in introduced areas by competing for food and habitat", the report stated.

The Northern snakehead has been caught in 14 US states so far, but officials are chalking up the surprise appearances to 'unauthorized release'. Instead, they MUST "Kill it immediately", and keeping in mind they can breathe air. they should be frozen.

Speaking to CBS 46, he said: "Our first line of defence in the fight against aquatic invasive species, such as the northern snakehead, are our anglers. They can survive on land", said a spokesperson in a news release.

The United States Department of Agriculture considers the snakehead fish "injurious wildlife", and it is federally regulated.

If possible, officials ask to take a picture of the fish, note where it was caught and report it to the Wildlife Resources Division.

The splotchy-looking fish eats other fish, and it has been reported that it will also eat amphibians, crawfish and even small animals such as mice, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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