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Snakeheads by the Thousands in DC Area Waters

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posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 06:29 PM
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Northern snakehead run draws curious anglers to Potomac

...Sunday was, in the Potomac River's increasingly bizarre snakehead history, a landmark day. And it was something Mark Hammond, in three decades of fishing the Potomac tributary near Fort Belvoir, never dreamed he would see.

"They're in there by the thousands. You could see them literally coming up along the banks. The ones we caught didn't even put a dent in them," said Hammond, 43, an avid bass fisherman from Florida living here temporarily. "We would throw one in the cooler, two others would jump out and we'd have to chase them through the woods."

Since last year's discovery that the voracious, nonnative northern snakehead had infiltrated the Potomac River and its tributaries, fishermen have pulled them up in ones and twos, each catch a major event that further solidified the proof of an entrenched and breeding population.

In the first half of this year, about 15 snakeheads were caught in the Potomac and its tributaries, including several in Dogue Creek, but nothing has matched the haul Sunday and Monday of at least 80. Its cause isn't yet clear...

The northern snakehead, native to China and Korea, first appeared in the area in 2002, when it was discovered in a pond in Crofton, Md. Authorities found six adults and 1,000 juveniles when the pond was poisoned. Last year came what fisheries experts say is a more disturbing development, when more snakeheads--with no genetic connection to the Crofton fish--were found in the Potomac, worrying scientists that the breeding population could throw the ecosystem out of balance...



Well, this battle has been lost..... Is there any doubt?




posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Oh my gawd. This is such bad news. I remember when they tried so hard to rid all these predators from the pond they found them in. I wonder what is left to do now?




posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 06:46 PM
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Man, those fish will just systematically destroy all native species in and around the Potomac. We need to quickly find a way to deal with this problem or it seems that they will continue spreading into other areas.



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 09:50 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Oh my gawd. This is such bad news.


It is.

Last year, I remember when they pulled two out of the river. I knew then the fight was lost. This story seems to confirm that. I'm afraid the only thing that likely can be done is to see how bad it will get.


[edit on 13-10-2005 by loam]



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 04:38 AM
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Originally posted by skychief
Man, those fish will just systematically destroy all native species in and around the Potomac. We need to quickly find a way to deal with this problem or it seems that they will continue spreading into other areas.


I wonder if there really is anything that can be done now that they have gotten in a river! I hope there is something. Else I hope they taste good!


[edit on 10-14-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 04:39 AM
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I don't think so, Valhall.

BTW....like my new sig?


[edit on 14-10-2005 by loam]



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 05:09 AM
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Yes I do - but I think my new one says all there needs to be said about that dealio.


About like the snakeheads really - resistance is futile. So will these snakeheads eat ALL of the indigenous fish in the river! And can they swim up stream?



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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Hey, maybe we can genetically modify the Lake Nicaragua Shark and have those populate the river and bring the Snakeheads under control!



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Yes I do - but I think my new one says all there needs to be said about that dealio.









About like the snakeheads really - resistance is futile. So will these snakeheads eat ALL of the indigenous fish in the river! And can they swim up stream?


Valhall: These things can walk across land- literally. I'm not joking. They can live out of water for a very significant period of time!





Questions and Answers about the Snakehead Fish

Northern snakehead fish, which are common in the aquaria industry and also sold live in some Asian fish markets, are one of 28 species of snakeheads native to Asia and Africa. They can grow to more than 3 feet long and exceed weights of 15 pounds. They are aggressive predators that feed opportunistically on amphibians, fish, aquatic birds, and, on occasion, small mammals. Of greater concern is the snakehead fish's ability to survive in waters with low dissolved oxygen and to travel across land. When looking for more suitable habitat, snakehead fish have been known to leave poor quality waters and survive out of water for three to four days in search of other bodies of water.



They are like search and destroy machines!

Very disturbing...they'll eat anything in their path!

[edit on 14-10-2005 by loam]



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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I have had snake heads as pet fish, they are animals.

I have had them get out of the fish tank, Had to keep rocks on the lid. In a 75 gallon they got about 22 inch. I would get 4 dozen gold fish to feed them.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by loam


Valhall: These things can walk across land- literally. I'm not joking. They can live out of water for a very significant period of time!




They are like search and destroy machines!

Very disturbing...they'll eat anything in their path!

[edit on 14-10-2005 by loam]

Man, I had forgotten that part. Okay, here's the plan. We have to put bait out on the banks of the river and then club 'em to death when they come out to eat. It's the only solution. They need to have "snakehead clubbin' days". Serve hotdogs and cold beer and just let people get after it.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Man, I had forgotten that part. Okay, here's the plan. We have to put bait out on the banks of the river and then club 'em to death when they come out to eat. It's the only solution. They need to have "snakehead clubbin' days". Serve hotdogs and cold beer and just let people get after it.




Or rather than hotdogs....one might prefer...



Steamed Snakehead In Chaozhou Style

or...

Snakehead Soup

or...(...and this one sounds particularly appetizing...)

Fermented Snakehead Fish

Gotta get me some of that! Where's my club?

[edit on 14-10-2005 by loam]



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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This is concerning to say the least.

Check out what they can do to other fish!
A blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus), an introduced species in Thailand, was sheared in half by a giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes). Photo courtesy of Jean-Francois Helias, Fishing Adventures Thailand

Here's a good link from the USGS site for Snakehead info. risk assesments and the like.


Adverse impacts on threatened and endangered species would likely be high. Of all the taxa listed as endangered or threatened in U.S. aquatic habitats, 16 amphibians, 115 fishes, and 5 of the 21 crustaceans (surface dwelling crayfish and shrimp), would be the most likely to be affected. Based on habitat requirements and life history, amphibians and surface dwelling crustaceans would generally be less likely to be affected by introduced snakeheads than would fishes. The possibility of a nonindigenous predator in the aquatic community with any listed amphibian or crustacean would constitute a threat.

Likelihood and magnitude of the effect on designated critical habitats of threatened or endangered species would be significant on the living component of the aquatic ecosystem. Depending on the habitat, snakeheads have the potential to detrimentally alter aquatic communities. The most likely scenario would be an alteration of the fish and crustacean community structure through predation. For listed fishes there could be competition for food in addition to direct predation. Like amphibians, fishes and crustaceans listed as threatened or endangered species, candidate taxa of these three groups or aquatic organisms would likewise be at risk.

Introduction of a small number of snakeheads (for example, less than five) into isolated spring habitats could result in extinction of endemic spring-adapted fishes or crustaceans. Introductions of fishes considered to be far less aggressive than snakeheads (that is, guppies, Poecilia reticulata) in such habitats have had major negative impacts (Courtenay and others, 1985). Snakeheads would not have to establish a reproducing population to reduce or eliminate a fish or crustacean species confined to a small section of a stream or isolated spring habitat. A small number of snakeheads introduced, but not established, in a stream or lake would likely have less of an impact. Nevertheless, any snakehead that becomes established in a water body would represent a significant threat and could potentially put any listed amphibian, fish, or crustacean at risk of local extinction.
(emphasis mine-Rren)

That's it! This place is falling to pieces, i'm moving to Mars. C-ya guys good luck with this whole armaggedon thing.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 05:30 PM
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Was it introduced deliberately or accidentally? We have laws against importing (smuggling) alien species into the US and this is one reason why.
Kudzu was "accidentally" released and for some reason people worked to cultivate it. Now it is a "noxious weed", taking over millions of acres.

www.cptr.ua.edu...

I accidentally posted this as a new thread by hitting the wrong button and don't know how to delete it but it was meant for this thread all along.

[edit on 14-10-2005 by Alikospah]



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 05:54 PM
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I hate kudzu, but the vines do make some lovely baskets. The introduction of foreign species is totally disrupting the ecological balance in many areas. Just like the problem with the pythons in Florida.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 07:02 PM
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I don't know of any natural predators we might have that will cut out the alien fish without killing off the natural desireable species. The only way they will stop multiplying is over population after they have killed the natural species they prey on. I don't understand the thinking of those who will release exotic species into the wild. Are they trying to avoid responsibility for destroying the creature when that is what should be done? They should look around at aquariums and marine zoos for someone to take the creature rather than releasing it. Most of the time these species are destroyed anyway in the wild so releasing them isn't a kindness.
We have a market for native species and the alien will wipe them out while providing an animal that few will choose to eat.
Years ago, I passed thru' MO and saw miles of a vine covering everything where no such vine had grown before because I'd seen that area before then. It isn't an attractive plant, maybe useful but smothering natural plant life that is needed for that geographical area to remain unchanged. The laws against smuggling and importing are made with wisdom and these two instances are good examples why. Goats thrive on the vine. Ugh!



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 07:40 PM
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This picture alone...



scares the be-jeebers out of me. Somebody get a club.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 09:32 PM
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Yummy Sliced Snakehead Fish and Watercress Soup



Ingredients:
1 pound watercress
1 pound sliced snakehead fish
1 small piece dried tangerine peel, rinsed
1 slice old ginger
3 cups water

Marinade for fish:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
dash of pepper
1/2 teaspoon oil

Seasoning:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light soy sauce

Instructions:
1. Trim off the roots of the watercress. Pluck the leaves
from the stems. Use only the leafy parts.

2. Rinse the slices of fish very quickly in cold water, drain thoroughly and marinate for 5 minutes.

3. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Put in the ginger, tangerine peel and watercress leaves.

4. Cover the pot and boil for 15 minutes over medim heat.
Bring the heat to low, add seasoning, and simmer for 10 minutes. Bring the heat to high.

5. Include the marinated fish and stir briskly. Check seasoning and serve immediately.

Save the Potomac! Time to start eating snakehead soup!
High in Omege-3 oils and includes no bird flu or mad cow disease too!



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 02:21 PM
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You have to marinade it for 5 hours?!

Give me a delicate trout anytime, just gut, scale and plank.



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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What a nasty, nasty, piece of work. We have plague proportions of European Carp in Australian rivers. They munch through everything, robbing the natural fish of food sources, wrecking the plant life. Worse, still they taste absolutely terrible. What people are using now to attack this problem is Electrofied Net systems. They have basically taken over whole areas so where there are little or no native fish left they put this net out with bait in it, then ZAP!, a charge is laid in the net and all these mongrel fish come floating to the surface. The dead fish are know being used in garden fertilizers, one being named, Charlie Carp. Just a small postive outcome from a really bad eco situation.




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