Northern Snakehead Fish found in Georgia

James Marshall
October 10, 2019

Ed Bettross a Fisheries Biologist at the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that the species first came to the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Officials said snakeheads are unsafe because they could potentially impact native species.

- If possible, take pictures of the fish.

Immediately report it to your regional Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Office. It can also breathe air, and survive in low oxygenated systems, including on land, officials said. The Northern Snakehead fish is a predator itself so the concern is that if left unchecked the fish could eliminate the local fish population.

How it got there is a mystery, but Georgia is now among the 14 states where snakeheads have shown up uninvited and unwanted, Georgia officials said.

According to a release from the Georgia Department of Natural (GDNR) Resources, invasive northern snakehead fish have been confirmed in Georgia waters.

"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.

Officials are concerned about the Northern snakehead infiltrating US water because they are 'voracious predators'.

An angler caught the northern snakehead fish this month in a pond in Gwinnett County, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division said Tuesday.

The best course of action is to kill the fish, freeze it, note where the fish was found and report it to officials.

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