The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants an invasive species of fish killed. This 'Frankenfish' is dangerous to the state's natural habitat.

U.S. Geological Survey via NYS DEC
U.S. Geological Survey via NYS DEC

Anglers In New York Should Kill Northern Snakehead Fish

The Northern Snakehead is an invasive species that has sharp teeth and can live outside of water. The fish can prey on birds and small mammals. Native to Asia, the DEC believes the species was introduced to New York via aquarium dumpings. It may have also been introduced by accidental and intentional fish market releases.

The fish prefers to live in stagnant shallow ponds or swamps. However, it can also be found living in canals, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. The predatory fish can kill prey that is natural to New York,

Northern snakehead juveniles feed on a wide variety of microscopic organisms, insect larvae, and crustaceans on which native fish rely. As adults, they feed mostly on other fish species, but also eat crustaceans, reptiles, mammals and small birds. Snakeheads have the potential to reduce or even eliminate native fish populations and alter aquatic communities. Municipalities which rely on tourist dollars from recreational fishing may suffer losses should northern snakeheads continue to invade New York waters.


The Northern snakeheads is classified federally as "Injurious Wildlife," which means it cannot be transported between states without a permit. According to Mid Hudson News, the DEC warns,

It is crucial that we stop the spread of this invasive predator to protect the health of our waters, wildlife and fishing industry.

If you catch a Northern snakehead fish, do NOT release it. Take photos of the fish from various angles, including the fins. Then freeze it. Send the photos and coordinates of where it was caught to

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