Snakeheads - 12 of 18

Snakeheads FAQs - 18 Found

What is the Federal Government doing about snakeheads?

Two agencies within the Department of the Interior (DOI) are responsible for researching and regulating snakeheads. The U.S. Geological Survey is a research arm of DOI, and USGS scientists have conducted extensive, worldwide research on snakeheads that provided a basis for regulating their importation and interstate transport in the US. Funding for that research was sponsored through a grant from another DOI agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for fisheries management, regulations, law enforcement, and education. The mission of the FWS is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants for the continued benefit of the American people.

On October 4, 2002, the FWS added the snakehead family of fishes (Channidae) to the list of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. This includes all currently recognized species, and any new species that may be described within that family in the future. By taking this action, snakehead fishes can no longer be imported into the US or be transported across state lines without a permit. Permits for interstate transportation and importation into the US can be obtained by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Management Authority at 1-800-358-2104. Such permits, however, will only be issued for specific uses, such as medical or scientific research and education. This injurious wildlife listing is based upon a thorough review of the scientific data on snakehead fishes and a risk assessment that was prepared for the FWS by the USGS. The FWS determined that regulation of all snakehead species is necessary to protect wildlife from the purposeful or accidental introduction of snakeheads into the ecosystems of the United States.

Learn more: Northern Snakehead (Channa argus) - FactSheet 

Animated map showing snakehead distribution in the US

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Sighting Report Form

Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae): A biological synopsis and risk assessment


Tags: Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Native Species, Snakeheads, Ecology, Predator, Aquatic