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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Northern Snakehead
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Species Profiles

Northern Snakehead

Northern SnakeheadScientific name: Channa argus

Common name: Northern Snakehead

Click image to enlarge

Native To: Eastern Asia (Fuller et al. 2013)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First established population discovered in Maryland in 2002 (Fuller et al. 2013)

Means of Introduction: Released from fish markets (Fuller et al. 2013)

Impact: Preys on and competes with native species (Fuller et al. 2013)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated:

  • Listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import, export, or transport between States without a permit (DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Images:

Videos:

Selected Internet Resources:

Federal Government

Northern Snakehead
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

Channa argus
Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
Taxonomy

Channa argus Article Citation Search - AGRICOLA Database
USDA. National Agricultural Library.
Research; Special Note: NAL Catalog Search (resources)

Snakehead: The Newest Aquatic Invader - Invasive Species Program (Jul 2002; PDF | 4.67 MB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution

Recognizing Northern Snakehead (Sep 2003; PDF | 336 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae) - A Biological Synopsis and Risk Assessment (Mar 2004)
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Legal Aspects

Channa argus - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Special Note: Distribution maps and collection information (State and County)

Northern Snakehead
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Photographs

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State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Snakehead (PDF | 201 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

Northern Snakehead Fish and Northern Snakehead Information - Crofton
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Controls; Special Note: Includes Snakehead Scientific Advisory Panel First Report to the Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources (Jul 26, 2002)

Northern Snakehead Fish (Channa argus)
New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
Species of Concern; Contacts; Management

Northern Snakehead
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Identification/Description; Photographs

The Snakehead Threat
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Identification/Description; Illustrations; Legal Aspects

Snakehead Fish Information
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

Northern Snakehead
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution; Legal Aspects

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University/Academic

Northern Snakehead - Introduced Species Summary Project
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Controls

Northern Snakehead (PDF | 177 KB)
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

Northern Snakehead
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

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International

Northern Snakehead
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (Canada).
Identification/Description; Illustrations; Impacts; Distribution

Snakehead - Species Summary
FishBase.org.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Illustration; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion

Channa argus (fish) - ISSG Global Invasive Species Database
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

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Organizations

Northern Snakehead - Hot Topics Series
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Research

Channa argus
Discover Life.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

Northern Snakehead - Lake George Fact Sheet No. 28 (Jan 2010; PDF | 119 KB)
Fund for Lake George (New York).
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Distribution; Controls; Legal Aspects

Snakehead, all species
Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

Channa argus
TexasInvasives.org.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls; Legal Aspects

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Press Releases

USGS Confirms Snakeheads in NYC Lake (Aug 2, 2005)
DOI. United States Geological Survey.

DNR Proposes Modified Snakehead Fish Regulations (Sep 29, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR and Bass Pro Partner to Provide Rewards for Anglers Catching Snakeheads (Jul 1, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Public Hearing For Snakehead Regulations July 7 (Jun 30, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Sixth Snakehead Caught in Potomac River Tributary (Jun 18, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Fifth Northern Snakehead Fish Caught In Potomac River (Jun 3, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR Fisheries Service To Post Signs Advising Anglers To Kill And Report Northern Snakehead Fish Caught Action necessary after another snakehead caught May 12 (May 14, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Single Northern Snakehead Fish Found in Wheaton Regional Park’s Pine Lake (Apr 29, 2004)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Import Restrictions on Live Snakehead Fish, Eggs, is Effective Friday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces (Oct 3, 2002)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

DNR to Apply Neutralizing Agent to Crofton Pond (Sep 17, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR Completes Rotenone Application; More Than a 120 Snakehead Fish Dead (Sep 4, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR Secretary Fox Announces Course of Action for Snakehead Fish (Aug 6, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Snakehead Scientific Advisory Panel: Report Recommends Common Herbicides And A Pesticide To Eradicate Fish From Crofton Pond (Jul 26, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Interior Secretary Norton Proposes Ban on Importation of Snakehead Fish (Jul 23, 2002)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Maryland Snakehead Fish Scientific Advisory Panel Assembled, First Meeting Planned (Jul 16, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR Officials Identify Source of Snakehead Fish (Jul 11, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Florida Biologist Identifies Juvenile Fish Caught in Crofton Pond as Northern Snakehead (Jul 10, 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Northern Snakehead Fish Information (Jul 2002)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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Federal Register Notices

Injurious Wildlife Species; Snakeheads (family Channidae)
Federal Register: Oct 4, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 193)
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adds all species of snakehead fishes in the Channidae family to the list of injurious fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.
DATES: This rule is effective Oct 4, 2002.

Injurious Wildlife Species; Snakeheads (family Channidae)
Federal Register: Jul 26, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 144)
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to amend 50 CFR 16.13 to add snakeheads (family Channidae) to the list of injurious fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. This listing would have the effect of prohibiting the interstate transportation and importation of any live animal or viable egg of snakeheads into the United States.
DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before Aug 26, 2002.

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News

Northern Snakehead Coverage, 2004
Maryland Invasive Species Council.

Snakehead in Maryland - News
Baltimore Sun.

Citations

Fuller, P.F., A.J. Benson, and M.E. Neilson. 2013. Channa argus. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL.

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Last Modified: Jul 01, 2014
 
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