|Courtesy of Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.|
The Baltimore Sun reports that scientists have discovered the predatory snakehead fish in a river just south of Annapolis in the Rhode River last Friday. The catch above is a 23 inch female snakehead. HometownAnnapolis The Baltimore Sun (link on page to vid says they are tasty)
Imported from Asia and Africa and a menace to the rivers they populate, the snakehead is an unusual fish, it has teeth and can reach lengths of three feet.
Able to live outside of the water for 4 days, it eats frogs and fish and has no known predator. They have also been known to feed on rats.
It is illegal to introduce them to North America's fresh waters but people have done so and in affect, the snakeheads prey on the local fish, driving down indigenous populations. They are the weeds of the fish world.
Snakeheads became a national news topic in the US because of the appearance of northern snakeheads spawning in a Crofton, Maryland pond in 2002. Northern snakeheads became permanently established in the Potomac River around 2004, and possibly established in Florida. Apparently non-established specimens have been found in Wawayanda, New York, two ponds outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and reservoirs in North Carolina.
From 2002 to 2003, one Los Angeles supermarket was found to have illegally sold approximately 25,000 dollars worth of live snakeheads, which caused breakouts in local ecosystems.
In what was determined by the Army Corps of Engineers to be an isolated incident, a fisherman caught a single snakehead on October, 2004 while fishing from Lake Michigan at Burnham Harbor in Chicago, Illinois.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, snakeheads have also been spotted in California, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
On April 25, 2011, a Northern Snakehead was found above Virginia's Great Falls near Whites Ferry. Great Falls was supposedly a natural barrier that the fish was unable to cross. It is apparently the first time a Northern Snakehead was found above the falls.
In May 2011, a Brooklyn fish importer was arrested for importing 350 live individuals of snakeheads into New York. He had tried to pass the fish off as Chinese black sleepers (Bostrychus sinensis) in an effort to mislead customs. He also admitted to importing six more shipments in 2010. It is unknown if any of the fish had been released into local waterways.
Other Mysterious Creatures . . .
Largest Sea Monster Ever! Pliosaur 8 Foot Skull Discovered (Video)
Wolf Warning in Ohio - same place where Mountain Lion was spotted days earlier
Ohio Mystery Canine. A Wolf in the Buckeye State?
My Visit to see where the Mothman Took Flight