Washington: An angler in Georgia has found an invasive fish species called snakehead fish that can breathe air and survive on land.
A warning has been issued against it. And according to the officials of Georgia, anyone who comes in contact with the fish needs to kill it immediately.
The angler caught the northern snakehead fish this month in a pond in Gwinnett County, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division said Tuesday, reported CNN.
“Thanks to the quick report by an angler, our staff was able to investigate and confirm the presence of this species in this water body,” said Chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division, Matt Thomas.
“We are now taking steps to determine if they have spread from this water body and, hopefully, keep it from spreading to other Georgia waters,” he added.
This is the first time the species has been discovered in Georgia. It has been reported in 14 states nationwide. The long, thin fish has a dark brown blotchy appearance and can grow up to three feet in length. It can also breathe air, and survive in low oxygenated systems, including on land, officials said.
A snakehead fish is considered to affect native species by competing for food and habitat. In Georgia, it is illegal to possess one without a valid wild animal license.
Anglers who believe they’ve caught a northern snakehead should kill it immediately and freeze it, officials said.
The United States Department of Agriculture calls the snakehead fish as “injurious wildlife.”