Georgia officials are asking residents to help kill off an invasive species of fish that has been found in the state's waters for the first time. Here's why - the snakehead devours everything in its path.
The open mouth of a snakehead fish is held up after being caught. Their unusual ability to breathe air means they can survive on land for several days, enabling them to move between different bodies of water. The only good news. they don't eat humans, so this won't be a "Sharknado" situation.
Invasive species are often introduced through unauthorized release. That's why they call fishermen the "first line of defense".
- DO NOT RELEASE IT. - Kill it immediately and freeze it. - If possible, take pictures of the fish. Let's be careful out there, people. Officials were able to quickly confirm the existence of the species in that pond are now checking other water bodies throughout the area.
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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division releases a statement on the find. "We are now taking steps to determine if they have spread from this water body and, hopefully, keep it from spreading to other Georgia waters", Thomas said.
While this is the first time it's been discovered in Georgia, snakeheads have been reported in 14 states nationwide.
The Northern snakehead have an "air bladder", according to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, and can spend four days out of water. This fish has a dark brown blotchy appearance and can grow up to 3 feet in length.
Hunter Roop, an official with the DNR, told WSB-TV they have "boots on the ground" as they search for the fish, and are "trying to understand the magnitude of the problem".
The splotchy-looking fish eats other fish, and it has been reported that it will also eat amphibians, crawfish and even small animals such as mice, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.