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Snakeheads: Georgia encourages anglers to kill invasive fish, breathe air, and survive on land for days



Lawrenceville, Ga. – The Georgian Ministry of Natural Resources has a message for anglers: if you catch a northern snake head, kill it immediately. Northern snakeheads are invasive fish that can breathe air and survive for days on land.

An angler recently reported that he had caught one in a private pond in Gwinnett County.

How this came about is a mystery. A press release said it was the first time the species was detected in Georgian waters. It was found in 14 other states.

Snakeheads are native to Asia. They are long, thin and up to 3 feet long, stained brown. Their dorsal fins extend over the entire back.

Officials call on anglers to do the following, according to the Georgian Ministry of Natural Resources:

  1. DO NOT RELEASE.
  2. Kill and freeze immediately. You can survive on land.
  3. Take pictures of the fish if possible. Close close-ups of his mouth, his fins and his tail.
  4. Make a note of where it was caught, such as the body of water, landmarks, or GPS coordinates.
  5. Report it immediately to your regional fisheries office of the DNR Wildlife Resources Division in Georgia.

A species is considered invasive when it moves into an ecosystem that has not evolved to control it. Once a species has gained a foothold without its natural enemies, it can multiply rapidly. CBSN Originals has investigated the growing problem of invasive species in the documentary "Burmese Python Invasion: Fighting Invasive Species."
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