Have You Seen Fishzilla In Texas Yet?
The best thing about sharks is they can't bite you on land.
Unlike sharks, an invasive fish species have already been spotted in the states bordering Texas that can bite and live on land. The Snakehead has already been spotted in Louisiana, Arkansas, and as far north as Missouri.
The Northern Snakehead (Channa argus) is native to East Asia, including China, Korea, and Russia.
This invasive species was first found in Maryland in 2002. Specimens are believed to have been introduced into the environment by individuals releasing them from fish tanks.
These fish are bad news. They can grow over three feet long with rows of sharp teeth. They are long cylindrical fish that can change their appearance to match their surroundings. These fish have been known to attack humans.
The worst part about the Northern Snakehead is that it can live out of water for up to three days.
They are dangerous to humans and can completely disrupt the natural environment wherever they are introduced. This fish can lay up to 15 thousand eggs at a time and spawn up to five times a year.
Snakeheads can decimate the fry of game fish like bass and trout. They not only prey on small fish but amphibians and even small mammals.
Northern Snakehead closely resembles a native Texas species of fish called the Bowfin. Here's how you tell them apart. Snakeheads have a long, extended anal fin, a lower jaw that protrudes past the upper jaw, and the lack of a black spot near the tail.
Most recently, the Snakehead has spread to Concordia Parish, Louisana in an oxbow lake of the Mississippi River.
In Maryland, where the fish were first found in the US, the state pays anglers a bounty for catching and killing the invasive species.
If you spot this fish here in Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department urges you to call their Invasive Species Hotline at 1-877-9-INFISH or (1-877-946-3474) or visit their website at https://tpwd.texas.gov/ to report the sighting.
Anglers will be interested to know that Northern Snakeheads are edible. Their meat is considered to be firm and flavorful, similar to other white-fleshed freshwater fish. Many report, however, that it has a muddy or earthy taste. They are said to taste good on a grill, and they go well with chips.
Just watch out. The Snakehead may try to eat you first.
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