An aquatic pesticide will be used next month in an Orange County lake to keep an invasive, predatory fish from expanding its population and possibly getting into the Hudson River, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said yesterday
The fish – known as a northern snakehead – was found in Catlin Creek near Ridgebury Lake in the town of Waywayanda, Orange County. Native to Asia, snakeheads are aggressive predators that can eat and out compete native fish.
The DEC will collect fish other than snakeheads from Ridgebury Lake before applying the pesticide and replace the native fish in the lake afterwards.
The AP photo shows a juvenile northern snakehead. It is thought the fish were introduced to the U.S. by pet owners intentionally releasing them or through the live food fish industry.
This is from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission:
“Northern snakehead, which are common in the aquaria industry and also sold live in some fish markets, are one of 28 species of snakeheads native to Asia and Africa. They can grow to more than 3 feet long and exceed weights of 15 pounds. They are aggressive predators that feed opportunistically on amphibians, fish, aquatic birds, and, on occasion, small mammals. Of greater concern is the snakeheadâ€™s ability to survive in waters with low dissolved oxygen and to travel across land. When looking for more suitable habitat, snakehead species have been known to leave poor quality waters and survive out of water for three to four days in search of other bodies of water.”