11 Frequently Asked Questions about Northern Snakeheads

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11 Frequently Asked Questions about Northern Snakeheads
11 Frequently Asked Questions about Northern Snakeheads
6/21/2017 2:18:10 PM

11 Frequently Asked Questions about Northern Snakeheads

6/21/2017 2:18:10 PM


1. How did the Northern Snakehead get into Lake Whittington?

  • Northern Snakeheads were first reported in Arkansas in 2008 where they have expanded their range in the last several years. The snakehead captured in Mississippi at Lake Whittington is believed to have come from Arkansas using high water levels in the Mississippi River to enter into Lake Whittington.
  • They were legally cultured on three Arkansas fish farms prior to 2002. Culture was prohibited in Arkansas in July 2002.

2. How did snakeheads get into the United States?

  • It is believed that snakeheads entered the United States by individuals either releasing them from the live food fish trade to establish local populations or from aquarium releases.

3. Where is the native range of the Northern Snakehead?

  • Northern Snakeheads are native to China, Russia and Korea.
  • They are widely cultured in China for food.

4. Where are snakeheads found in the United States?

  • Established, reproducing populations have been found in Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia where their impacts to native fish populations are either unknown or minimal. They have also been found in Alabama, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Texas.

5. What do Northern Snakeheads eat?

  • Adult fish eat fishes, frog, crawfish, and aquatic insects. They also eat carp, minnows, bream, and catfishes.
  • Their diet overlaps with largemouth bass.
  • They reportedly feed in schools, mostly at night near vegetation close to shore.

6. Are Northern Snakeheads good to eat?

  • Yes, they are the mostly widely cultured fish in China and are frequently sold in live food fish markets.

7. Will they spread to other waters?

  • Yes, it is likely they will spread to other waters, especially connected oxbows along the Mississippi River, based on what has happened in other states.

8. Will they reproduce in Mississippi waters and become established?

  • Since they have a wide tolerance for environmental conditions and water temperatures (0-30ºC; 0-86ºF), it is likely that they will survive, reproduce, and spread in Mississippi waters.

9. How will Northern Snakeheads affect our native fishes?

  • While the exact impacts are unknown, experience in other states leads us to believe that the impacts will be minimal.

10. Is it legal to possess live Snakeheads in Mississippi?

  • No, the possession, sale and transport of all species of snakeheads have been illegal since 2011.

11. What should I do if I catch a Snakehead?

  • Keep it. Do not return it to the water. Do not transport it alive
  • Photograph it.
  • Report it. Provide where and when you caught the fish. Call the MDWFP Fisheries Bureau at (601) 432-2200.

You are viewing this post: 11 Frequently Asked Questions about Northern Snakeheads. Information curated and compiled by Congofishes.net along with other related topics.

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