The snakehead fish family is native to parts of Asia and Africa. The northern snakehead fish species is native to China and possibly Korea and Russia.
Where is the snakehead fish native to?
Snakeheads are native to parts of Asia and Africa. Fishery scientists have found individuals of four species in waters of California, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Why are snakehead fish a problem?
During all of their life stages, snakehead fish compete with native species for food and habitat. A major concern is that snakeheads might out-compete (and eventually displace) important native or other established predatory fish that share the same habitat. As adults, snakeheads can be voracious predators.
Where does the northern snakehead fish come from?
PATHWAYS/HISTORY: The northern snakehead is native to areas of China, Russia, and Korea. In the United States, the snakehead was first discovered in 1977 within Silverwood Lake, California. In 2002, this species was discovered in a pond in Crofton, Maryland.
Can snakehead fish kill humans?
Most snakehead fish will avoid contact with humans. One species, the giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) native to southeastern Asia, has been reported to be aggressive toward humans who got too close to their nest. … Other snakeheads are not as aggressive toward humans.
Why are snakeheads illegal in the US?
“Since 2002, it has been illegal to possess a live snakehead in many US states, where they are considered a destructive invasive species.” … It is believed that the northern snakehead fish entered the United States when aquarium owners discarded their unwanted exotic captive species into local waterways.
What eats a snakehead fish?
Predators. While the northern snakehead has no natural predators in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, young snakeheads have been reported being carried away by large birds of prey, such as ospreys and eagles. However, once they have fully matured, northern snakeheads are not prone to predation.
How did snakehead fish get to the US?
It is believed that the northern snakehead fish entered the United States when aquarium owners discarded their unwanted exotic captive species into local waterways. … Northern snakehead fish can spread by swimming underwater and are also capable of breathing out of the water to move short distances on land.
Can snakehead fish live in saltwater?
Snakeheads are freshwater fishes with little, if any, tolerance for saltwater. Within their native and introduced ranges, they live in small and large streams, canals, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and lakes.
Should I kill snakehead?
Anglers are encouraged to harvest snakeheads when caught. However, anglers are not required to kill snakeheads, so long as they are immediately released back into the body of water from which they came.
Why should you kill a snakehead fish?
They are able to “breathe air allowing them to survive on land and in low oxygenated systems.” Because northern snakeheads can negatively impact native species by competing for the same resources, wildlife officials encourage anyone who comes across the fish to “kill it immediately and freeze it.”