Image Yes, it is true; a walking, air breathing fish has invaded the waterways of America.

Like most fisherman, I always believed fish could not live out of water or move across land. But the highly invasive Asian fish Snakehead (Channa) can live out of water for over 8 hours and use its lower fins while twisting its body to walk over 200 feet on land. It's called the snakehead for a good reason. The beady eyes of a snakehead lend it a reptilian appearance unlike the glassy eyes of bass, walleye or trout. Also, its elongated body shape is different from most game fish with its dorsal fin and anal fin running the length of its spine and underbelly, giving it a slithering look. Its camouflage scales are like that of a mutant rattlesnake. There are over 25 species of Channa, with the Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes ) growing to over 50 inches.

The Northern Snakehead is now found in many of the waterways of the United States and is developing a following of hardcore anglers. When hooked it’s aggressive fight is more powerful than bass fishing. Snakehead fishing and bass fishing are extremely similar; and it is edible. Be Warned, the Fish and Wildlife Service has marked the snakehead as an "injurious species" making it illegal to import and transport the fish across state lines. It is also illegal to catch and release the fish or even throw a live fish upon the shore/bank. If caught in Texas, the fisherman should contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife department as soon as possible. Bass Pros Shops even have a bounty on the fish by offering a gift certificate reward for snakeheads captured and turned in to authorities.

The Snakehead is bad news for other sporting and commercial fish in our waters. It is an invasive predator fish with multi rows of teeth that can consume almost all other species of fish in only a few years. It is known to even eat amphibians and small birds. The Giant Snakehead deposits their young live on the surface of water that appear as a reddish blood mound of 1-3 foot floating trash. The fish aggressively protects these mounds and will attack humans that approach it.

So is the story of the “Walking, Air Breathing Fish”.