Department of Environmental Conservation

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Family: Channidae

Snakeheads are native to tropical Africa and southern Asia. They have only recently been established in the US. They are airbreathing and have lower protruding jaws with canine teeth. Snakeheads are sold in the pet trade, fish markets and are important in aquaculture.

Northern Snakehead

Channa argus

Image of a Northern Snakehead

Northern Snakehead was first reported in NY's waters in 2006. Its release may result from certain religious practices. It lives in a few lowland, slow-moving streams and ponds of New York City with abundant aquatic vegetation. In 2009, an eradication program in tributaries of the Wallkill River of the Lower Hudson watershed was effective.

Fish atlas map for Snakehead.