Invasive snakehead fish found in state

Published 8:12 pm Friday, June 9, 2017

BENOIT (AP) — An invasive fish has been documented for the first time in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks says a northern snakehead was caught Monday in Lake Whittington in Bolivar County.

Nathan Aycock, a fisheries biologist with the department, says Cleveland bow fishermen Brad Baugh and Bubba Steadman caught the snakehead in the oxbow lake.

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Aycock says the Asian fish established itself in Arkansas’ White River in 2008 and is expanding its range.

It can swim to other waters connected to the Mississippi River. Northern snakeheads are typically found in shallow backwaters and can breathe air, letting them survive out of water for extended periods.

Aycock says it’s unclear what impact snakeheads have on native fish.

It’s illegal to transport, sell or keep live snakeheads in Mississippi.