Random invasive species images that represents what NISIC does
USDA.gov NAL NISIC Sudden oak death Formosan subterranean termite Yellow star thistle Giant African snail Cactus moth Purple loosestrife
HomeAbout National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC)News and EventscouncilHelpContact Us
 Search the National Invasive Species Information Center
Search all USDA
Advanced Search
Search Tips
Browse by Geography
United States
Browse by Subject
Aquatic Species
Economic Impacts
Laws and Regulations
Manager's Tool Kit
Resource Library
You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Northern Snakehead
Aquatic Species
Species Profiles

Northern Snakehead

Northern SnakeheadScientific name: Channa argus (ITIS)

Common name: Northern Snakehead

Click image to enlarge

Selected Resources

Native To: Eastern Asia (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First established population discovered in Maryland in 2002 (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction: Released from fish markets (NAS Database)

Impact: Preys on and competes with native species (NAS Database)

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. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.



Selected Resources:


Northern Snakehead
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.


New York Invasive Species Information - Northern Snakehead Fish
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Northern Snakehead
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Texas Invasives Database - Channa argus

Invasive Species Compendium - Channa argus argus
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Channa argus (fish)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


Snakehead: The Newest Aquatic Invader - Invasive Species Program (Jul 2002; PDF | 4.67 MB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Recognizing Northern Snakehead (Sep 2003; PDF | 336 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae) - A Biological Synopsis and Risk Assessment (Mar 2004)
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database - Channa argus
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

Not Welcome in Canada: Preventing a Northern Snakehead Invasion
Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Aquatic Invasive Species: Snakehead (PDF | 201 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Northern Snakehead
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Northern Snakehead Fish (Channa argus)
New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Northern Snakehead
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The Snakehead Threat
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Northern Snakehead - Frequently Asked Questions
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Northern Snakehead
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.


Introduced Species Summary Project - Northern Snakehead
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Northern Snakehead (PDF | 177 KB)
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

Northern Snakehead
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.


Northern Snakehead - Hot Topics Series
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts.

Snakehead, all species
Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area.

Northern Snakehead
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (Canada).


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Channa argus. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Channa argus. USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

Back to Top
Last Modified: Sep 26, 2015
Bookmark and Share
I Want To
    Read Recent News Articles
    Find Management Plans
    Locate Images
    Find Experts

More ...

Aquatic Species
    Species Profiles
    Discussion Groups
    Economic Impacts
    Educational Resources
    Image Galleries
    Frequently Asked Questions
    What You Can Do
Media Help
 To view PDF files you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.

To view Flash files you must  have Macromedia Flash Player installed on your computer.

 NISIC Home | NAL Home | USDA | AgNIC | Agricultural Research Service | Web Policies and Important Links | Site Map
FOIA | Accessibility Statement| Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement | Information Quality | USA.gov | White House