Science

Invasive Snakehead Fish Spotted in Georgia for First Time

Invasive Snakehead Fish Spotted in Georgia for First Time”

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.

The department said northern snakeheads have the potential to impact native species by competing for food and habitat.

"If possible, take pictures of the fish, including close ups of its mouth, fins and tail (and) note where it was caught", state officials said. The fish can wreak havoc on local ecosystems, and Georgia wildlife officials hope to contain its spread.

An invasive species of fish that can grow to 3 feet long has been found in Georgia, according to state officials.

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 department's advice for what Georgia residents should do upon finding a northern snakehead, which can breathe air, is simple.

Wildlife officials are now urging residents to "immediately" kill any snakehead fish they see, since they have the ability to survive in water and on land, Fox News reported.

Note where it was caught like the waterbody, landmarks or Global Positioning System coordinates.

"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. - Immediately report it to your regional Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Office".

It is unlawful to import, transport, sell, transfer or possess any species of snakehead fish without a valid wild animal license in Georgia.

It's unclear how the fish ended up in the pond, but a blog post from the department explains invasive species "are often introduced throughout unauthorized release".

Snakeheads grow to 3 feet and have a "voracious" appetite that includes not just other fish but "birds and mammals", according to the task force.



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