SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has been warning anglers about the invasive Northern Snakehead fish.
Anyone who catches a Northern Snakehead in South Carolina should kill it immediately and freeze it, according to SCDNR. The fish should not be released back into the water.
“Our first line of defense in the fight against aquatic invasive species, such as the Northern snakehead, is our anglers,” said Ross Self, chief of freshwater fisheries with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). “If South Carolina anglers catch a Northern Snakehead, they should kill it immediately and report it to SCDNR.”
SCDNR said the fish has been found in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina.
The Northern Snakehead is a long, thin fish, similar in appearance to the native bowfin. They have a long dorsal fin that runs along their whole back and a dark brown blotchy appearance.
Northern Snakeheads can get up to three feet in length. They can also breathe air allowing them to survive on land and in low oxygenated systems.