HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is urging anyone who catches invasive Northern Snakehead fish in the Lower Susquehanna River to report them to the commission and then kill them.
The PFBC is reminding anglers that the possession, transport, and importation of a live snakehead is unlawful in both Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Any of these invasive fish that are caught should be killed and disposed of properly or consumed.
Anglers who suspect they have caught a snakehead are encouraged to NOT release it, and report it to the PFBC at (610) 847-2442 or by email.
For more information on Northern Snakeheads in Pennsylvania, including an identification guide, visit the PFBC snakehead resource page on our website.
This advisory from the PFBC comes after documented movement of 21 Northern Snakeheads past the Conowingo Dam into the Conowingo Pool.
The pool a 14-mile-long section of the Susquehanna River located between the Conowingo Dam in Maryland and the Holtwood Dam in Pennsylvania.
According to the Fish and Boat Commission, Northern Snakeheads are native to parts of China, Russia, and Korea
Northern Snakeheads were first discovered in the mid-Atlantic region in 2002, when they were found in a Maryland pond.
Snakeheads were first confirmed in Pennsylvania in July 2004 in Meadow Lake, Philadelphia County, and are present in the connecting lower Schuylkill and Delaware rivers.
In summer 2018, anglers began catching snakeheads in Octoraro Creek in Lancaster County, a tributary that enters the Susquehanna River below the Conowingo Dam.
In September 2019, there was a reported catching of a single snakehead in the Monongahela River near Braddock, PA, and the specimen was verified by PFBC biologists.