Snakehead Fish

Invasive Fish From Asia – Can You Handle It?


Channa Argus is a native fish of Asia. Snakeheads first entered the Maryland ecosystem when a local man ordered a pair of Snakeheads in New York’s Chinatown. In Asia, the fish is believed to have healing powers when eaten.

The man’s sister became ill, so he thought it would be a good idea to get some Snakehead fish for his sister. By the time he got back to Maryland his sister had recovered. So he kept the fish in an aquarium for a while. But then against his better judgment, he released them into a local pond. This is believed to be the first case of Snakeheads being introduced into an American fishery.

Snakehead Fish

So whats the big deal?

Well for starters, this fish is a top-level predator, meaning it has no natural enemies. It reproduces at a rapid rate. They have a voracious appetite, feeding primarily on other fish. So in turn, they naturally decimate the native fish in that body of water. They can get up to four feet long, a lot of it depends on which species of Snakehead it is.

There are almost thirty different species of Snakeheads. They have canine teeth and actually have a tongue that resembles a humans. If that’s not enough to give you the creeps, it can breathe aquatic oxygen and atmospheric oxygen. Yeah — it can survive on land, however, they do need moisture; so they can only survive on land if they find moisture. This fish has even been known to migrate to other bodies of water. Okay — how does it do that you ask? It crawls on its pectoral fins.

The problem is people want to keep them as pets. Well — these fish or known to jump out of aquariums or ram the side and knock it over. They have even been known to break the glass of the aquarium by ramming their head through it. So when people learn what a handful these pets can be, they are releasing them into the local lake or river. Scientist have advised that fisherman should kill this fish if they happen to catch one. You might need a bat or a good size rock to hit it over the head with. This is one mean fish!

All attempts to eradicate the fish have failed. It seems the Snakehead is here to stay. But on the positive side, they do taste good. And you don’t have to worry about a limit. Pound for pound, this fish is going to give you a good fight. It’s just to bad this fish eats such a wide variety of foods. This is why it is such a danger to the native species. They will even feed on bass or whatever they can fit into their mouth.

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