Thursday, March 14, 2013

Snakehead in freshwater, mounting a challenge like lionfish in local reefs. Broward canal yields dubious record – biggest invasive snakehead fish - Environment -

Broward canal yields dubious record – biggest invasive snakehead fish - Environment -

This is not your average fish story and certainly not your average invasive fish: The Miami Herald reports that a 14-pound, three-ounce bullseye snakehead caught in a Margate canal. This fish was so large that it would have beaten the all-tackle world record had it been caught with a hook and line.

Not to be confused with the local Mudfish (or bowfin).  Do you know how to tell the difference between the two? Check out: Bowfin and Snakeheads: Distinguishing Features (posted on Texas Parks & Wildlife page)

As reported, Scientists fear snakeheads, predators that will eat just about anything and are generally larger than most native freshwater fish, could take a big bite out local populations if they spread unchecked. The fish’s freakier attributes added to the curiosity. Much like the infamous walking catfish touted as a scourge of the Everglades in the 1960s, snakeheads can survive out of water for several days. And like the catfish, a few species purportedly can wiggle across short distances on land on their fins.

Like other exotics, the four species documented in the United States didn’t swim here. Federal and state wildlife managers believe they were likely released by aquarium owners or breeders for Asian seafood markets, where live specimens were illegally sold in the past.

Also see Kayak Club of the Palm Beaches message board: "Snakehead - A really good eating fish" This source advises that the Bullseye gets it's name from the prominent eyespot, or ocellus, which is a black spot rimmed with orange near the base of the tail fin. These Snakeheads are an invasive fish and predominately found in an area north of SR-84 near the Ft. Lauderdale Airport (New River) up to and somewhat into Palm Beach County west of Boca Raton.

Any guess on what our local fish population will look like in 20 years given the massive influx of exotics like the snakehead in our local freshwater and lion fish in local reefs? 

CLICK HERE to view my post regarding the results and official photographs from the 2012 Everglades CISMA non-native fish round up.  The largest Fish was a 2 lb, 14 oz, Bullseye Snakehead which was nowhere near the size reported in this Miami Herald Story.

I find it interesting that the post states that that this is a prized fish.  So read up on where some recommend to find 'em and go get them.  The article provides some guidance.

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