Have You Encountered the Land Walking, Air Breathing ‘Frankenfish’? Kill It! Dead!
The good news for New York fishermen is that trout fishing season has been extended until March 31st with the "catch and release" program. The bad news, for one fish, is that it must die. No catch and release for the creepy 'Frankenfish'!
What the heck is a 'Frankenfish'? Have you even seen one? According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Northern Snakehead (a.k.a. 'Frankenfish') are a predatory fish from Asia that feed on other fish species as well as crustaceans, reptiles, mammals and small birds! What?!
The Northern Snakehead can grow up to 3 feet in length, they have many teeth used to eat almost anything in sight AND they have the ability to travel on land temporarily and can breathe air!
Back in August Syracuse.com reported that fisherman Cody Reynolds caught a 'Frankenfish' in Sullivan County in the Bashakill Marsh near Wurtsboro. Once captured he took a picture and submitted it to the DEC for their examination.
The DEC is asking anglers to report the sighting or capture of northern snakeheads as they have the potential to reduce or even eliminate native fish populations and alter aquatic communities. These dudes are no good for New York and our waterways.
So how did these creeps get to New York? The DEC says that the Northern snakeheads were most likely introduced via a intentional and unintentional releases from fish markets as well as aquarium dumpings.
Should you catch one:
- DO NOT RELEASE IT.
- Kill it immediately (remember, it can survive on land) and freeze it.
- If possible, take pictures of the fish, including close ups of its mouth, fins and tail.
- Note where it was caught (waterbody, landmarks or GPS coordinates).
- Report it to your regional NYS DEC fisheries office or to NYS DEC's Invasive Species Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 402-9425.
- You can also submit a report through iMapinvasives (leaves DEC website).