'Kill it immediately': Invasive fish can survive on land, found in Georgia

Northern Snakehead Fish found in Georgia

Wildlife officials in Georgia are warning about an invasive fish species.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resource Division (WRD) said this was the first time the fish - which can survive for several days on land - had been found in Georgian waters.

Snakeheads grow to 3 feet and have a "voracious" appetite that includes not just other fish but "birds and mammals", according to the task force. It can also breathe air and survive in low-oxygen systems, including land.

After the latest discovery in Georgia, officials from the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resource are urging anyone who catches a snakehead to kill it immediately and freeze it.

Invasive fish like the northern snakehead are often introduced through unauthorized release, according to Georgia wildlife authorities.

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Officials said snakeheads are risky because they could potentially impact native species. State officials say that if anglers catch this fish, they should kill it immediately and freeze it.

He said: 'Our first line of defense in the fight against aquatic invasive species, such as the northern snakehead, are our anglers'. The state's Department of Natural Resources said that these invasive creatures have been reported in 14 USA states so far. The unique fish can survive up to four days out of water if it's kept moist, and it can remain immobile, but alive, in mud during drought, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Hunter Roop, an official with the DNR, told WSB-TV they have "boots on the ground" as they search for the fish, and are "trying to understand the magnitude of the problem".

The snakehead fish is a non-native invasive species. "We are now taking steps to determine if they have spread from this water body and, hopefully, keep it from spreading to other Georgia waters", Thomas said.

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