Snakehead Fresh Water Monster
They will attack to defend their young. To defend their territory due to the large number of fry that are spawned.
The Snake Head (Channa argus) was originally found in Florida around 2002. The snake head is one of 30 different snakehead species that range in size from a few inches to over 4 feet (1 metre). They have a nasty streak a mile long. The family name is Channidae.
With ripping teeth and a reputation for aggression these fish are so aggressive that they are considered worse than piranhas.
Over 30 Snakehead Species
There’s a legend behind this fish that is well deserved. They are believed to be poisonous, walk across land from one river or lake to another, are capable of killing people, eating everything in their sight and reproducing in large numbers. They are highly aggressive and can wipe out any native fish species in their path.
First myth busted:
No Snakehead species in poisonous. It is believed that this myth comes from Asia. People believe their bite to be poisonous because it looks like a snake. While an attack may require a trip to the hospital, they are not poisonous.
Snakeheads can survive out of water and some species can move about on land, but they are not very elegant or capable of moving fast at all. Traveling 10 or 20 feet is possible, but 10 to 20 miles is not at all likely.
Factual Snakehead Characteristics
Snakeheads hunt in packs like piranhas but are a lot more aggressive capable of wiping out all native fish species in their habitat. The exception to this is the Giant Snakehead that stops hunting in packs when it is a juvenile. They are ambush predators and have sharp ripping teeth.
Snakeheads are capable of breathing air, which helps them survive in very low oxygen environments such as stagnant pools, ditches and canals. This is another feature that helps them displace native species.
They protect their young without reservation. The Giant Snakehead is capable of spawning over 100,000 fry and they defend their young aggressively. The male keeps a close look over them while the female guards them at a distance, circling the young and ready to attack anything that comes within the perimeter, much like that of how the Navy protects a battle fleet.
Snakehead American Invasion
The first report of a snakehead found in American waters was reported by bass angler Bob Newland in 2000. He caught a Bullseye Snakehead. When the Florida fishing authorities went to investigate, they found that the snakehead had invaded the Florida canals. At this point they realized that there was no way that they could eradicate the Snakehead from Florida waters. There is hope that these fish will not enter the Florida everglades. With a small land beige between the canals and the everglades, there is some hope, but all it would take is a storm surge or a careless person and these fish will spread north.
Northern Snakehead Maryland
In June 2002, the Northern Snakehead was confirmed in Crofton, Maryland. The story led to a media frenzy that scared the public into fearing for the lives of their children.
Maryland was not the only state to have found the Northern Snakehead. They have also been spotted in Illinois, Arkansas, British Columbia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. There are several Youtube videos that illustrate the frenzy stirred up by the snakeheads in the US.
Snakeheads are Aggressive Killers – The Facts
This is the reality of this fish. They will attack to defend their young, to defend their territory and due to the large number of fry that are spawned. They have the capability to take over North American waterways in Canada and the United States both in the hot south and in the cold north.
It is believe that they were originally brought into the United States through New York. The snakehead is considered good eating and highly valued for their healing qualities in some Asian communities. It’s also believed that someone released them into fresh water US lakes and rivers where they could be harvested on the cheap rather than importing them. In fact they can go for $15 to $20 each, but possessing live ones in the United States can lead to jail time.
Air Breathing Snakehead
The Snakehead breaths air just like any other mammal. They swim to the surface and gulp down air into their lungs located just behind their head. This gives them the ability to survive in very low oxygenated water in stagnant pools and ditches.
The Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes) can reach almost 4 feet and a weight of 40 pounds. They are aggressive and will defend their young aggressively and strategically. The male is responsible for guiding the young and staying close to them. The female circles close by and will attack anything that comes within about a 20 foot diameter of the young.
The northern snakehead can survive northern Siberian winters and was discovered in Maryland. They are just as voracious as the smaller species. Attempts were made to kill them off, but their efforts failed. They are spreading and are feared to threaten native bass and other species and they do not have any natural predators. Snakeheads are here and unlikely to stop spreading.
These fish are capable of releasing some 100,000 eggs a year and taking over any habitat that they are found. Fortunately, the Giant Snakehead is not found in North America yet but the Northern Snakehead and Bullseye Snakehead alone have the potential for completely taking over North American waterways and displacing all native species.
They have ripping teeth and a reputation for aggression. These fish are so aggressive, that they are considered worse than piranhas.
Snake Head Distribution and Feeding
Unlike other fish species, the Snakehead will attack not just for food but out of aggression. These fish kill as a reflex. In fact, some people keep them as pets due to their aggressive feeding nature, replacing piranhas as the most dangerous fish.
They can be found in Russia, Africa, India, Indonesia, China and Korea and they are spreading. These fish are not native to the United States or Canada.
Unfortunately, should the snakehead invade the major waterways and watersheds of the United States and Canada, it could wipe out much of the current 30 billion dollar fishing industry. The only lakes that would be free of the snakehead are those that are isolated and not connected to the major North American waterways.