GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – An invasive species, the northern snakehead, was found for the first time in the state of Georgia earlier this month.
The fish species was found in a pond in Gwinnett County and have been reported in 14 other U.S. states. They are long, thin fish that can get up to three feet in length with a dorsal fin that runs along their back. They can also breathe air.
Invasive species like these have potential to negatively impact native species by competing for food and habitat.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) is reminding Georgia residents of how they can help and what to do if they catch a northern snakehead.
How anglers can help:
- Learn to identify a northern snakehead
- Dispose of aquarium plants and animals in the garbage, not in bodies of water
- Dispose of all bait in trash cans, at disposal stations or above the waterline on land
- Dump water from boat compartments, bait buckets and live wells on dry land
What to do if you catch a northern snakehead:
- Do not release it
- Kill it immediately and freeze it
- Take pictures of the fish (including close ups of its mouth, fins and tail)
- Note where it was caught
- Report it to your regional Georgia DNR office (HERE)