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Author: Jennifer Forman Orth

Invading your brain since 2002.

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Sunday, May 16, 2004

Snakehead Public Awareness Week?  

Either our waterways are about to be overrun with snakeheads (Channa spp.), or public awareness about the voracious, walking fish has hit an all-time high. Last week, as reported by the Washington Post, a snakehead fish was caught by a fisherman in the Potomac River in Virginia, just a week after one was caught in a tributary of the same river. Then, later in the week, reports like this one from the Los Angles Daily News described the arrest of a grocer who was importing and selling snakeheads in his shop at the Assi Marketplace in Koreatown, L.A. The shop's manager claimed ignorance of U.S. laws banning the import of snakeheads, considered a delicacy in several Asian cultures.

Following this and other recent reports about snakehead sightings, I've updated my "Tour of the U.S." snakehead map. Place your mouse pointer over the red states for details. For more specific information about logged sightings of this fish, visit this USGS web page.

California: Silverwood Lake 1997, Assi Supermarket, L.A. 5-2004Florida: Upper St. Johns River 2000Wisconsin: Rock River 9-2003Massachusetts: Newton Pond in Shrewsbury 2001Maryland: Crofton Pond 6-2002, Pine Lake 4-2004Virginia: Little Hunting Creek 5-2004, Potomac River 5-2004North Carolina: Lake Wylie, Upper Catawba River 2002
Make your own maps at World 66

Update 05/26/2006: Yes, it is true, DU people, I did indeed give up on populating this map...I did so when the USGS maps went back online, after some serious downtime. Here is the USGS map, which is updated using the point locations I linked to above, so it should be current. However, as of 05/26/2006 the USGS maps were once again failing :-(.

States with northern snakehead occurrences that are not colored in on the above map are: Illinois (2004), New York (2005), and Pennsylvania (2004).

Update 01/2008: This map is outdated. For a current snakehead distribution, click here [USGS].



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