Snakehead Fish: A Non-Native Species

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  • Topic: Channidae, Channa, Ecology
  • Pages : 2 (442 words )
  • Download(s) : 117
  • Published : August 6, 2010
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There had been many non-native species found in the stage of Maryland. The one that caught my attention was the northern snakehead fish also known as Channa Argus. Northern Snakehead fish range in size between 2.5 and 5 feet; this being an adult size, and are able to produce 1,300 to 15,000 eggs per spawn many times a year. The northern snakehead fish was first reported to be seen in 1977 in Silverwood Lake California; the first sighting in the United States. The northern snakehead fish is native to China, Russia, and Korea. But the first sighting of the northern snakehead fish in the state where I live (Maryland) was in the year 2002. The northern snakehead fish was brought to the states as a food source. But we do not know why they were released into our local rivers and ponds. Since the snakeheads have been released they have been very difficult to control. Many states have tried a variety of methods in an attempt to control the invasive species. The chemical Rotenone was applied to several ponds; even though the chemical more often than not killed the snakehead. It regrettably killed most other fish in the pond as well. In Maryland there was a treat to the Chesapeake Bay, so they drain the pond in Crofton Maryland in hopes of destroying the invasive species and it worked. The method that was used in the rivers was different. Instead of trying to kill them the control methods were restricted to catch and report. There were some states who offered a bounty for these snakehead fish. But, due to fishermen’s information of migrating and thriving populations of the invasive species, many states are at this time re-evaluating their monitoring and control policies. The northern snakehead fish has impacted the native species. Their usual diet consists mostly of other fishes along with crustaceans, frogs, and small reptiles. This fish has also been known to eat small birds and mammals. Because of its appetite the snakehead fish poses a major threat to both smaller fish...
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