Another ‘River Monster’ Fish Caught in Missouri, Slithers on Land
Well, it's happened yet again. An invasive fish that has been called a 'river monster' because of what it can do to native fish in Missouri has been found in the Show Me State again and this time in a completely different area. This fish can even survive slithering on land.
You might recall that a couple weeks ago we shared word that an invasive Northern Snakehead had been found by an angler in Missouri. The first was captured in the St. Francis River levees. This one was found in the Duck Creek Conservation Area in southern Missouri southwest of Cape Girardeau.
The Missouri Department of Conservation shared this in their press release:
“Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before we saw this species continue to spread in Missouri,” said MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Dave Knuth.
The Northern Snakehead is a fish native to Thailand, but consumes native fish in Missouri and can even survive on land for some time as they can slither, hence the "snakehead" name.
The Missouri Department of Conservation said "it is illegal to import, export, sell, purchase, or possess a live northern snakehead in Missouri". This invasive monster is known to reproduce quickly so there is concern that more may still be present in the river ecosystems of Missouri. Just like invasive carp that have devastated the Mississippi River Basin, a rise in the population of northern snakehead in Missouri would be bad news. That's why fishermen are advised to kill the fish if they confirm they've caught one.