Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A snakehead sometimes known as the "Frankenfish" for its ability to live in oxygen depleted water is any of about 31 species of the freshwater fish family Channidae. They are found in tropical Africa and the Indo-Pacific region, especially China, Korea and Sri Lanka, where they are considered a delicacy. The predatory fish is distinguished by a long dorsal fin, small head, large mouth and teeth, and the ability to survive on land for a short period of time (compare eel). The snakehead feeds on other fish, earthworms, insects, aquatic birds and, occasionally, small mammals such as rats. Adult snakeheads can reach a length of 1 meter and a weight of more than 6 kilograms.
Between 2002 and 2004, there have been snakeheads found in the wild in the Washington, DC area, prompting fears that it could become an invasive species and cause ecological damage. The snakeheads are sold as pets and were probably brought into the area for food purposes, but were then released for unknown reasons.
On October 9 2004 a fisherman caught one in Lake Michigan at Burnham Harbor in Chicago, Illinois. They have also been spotted in Washington State, California, Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts.
Removal from Unwanted Areas
When the process begins, officials will apply the herbicides Diquat Dibromide and Glyphosate (also known as Rodeo) to the pond to eliminate aquatic vegetation. These chemicals cause oxygen levels to drop, and a subsequent fish kill occurs. The herbicides are sprayed on and into the water from boats.
Approximately one to two weeks after the application of the herbicides, application of the piscicide Rotenone, eliminates remaining fish. Dead fish are removed daily; however, unpleasant odors from decaying organic material are to be expected. Like the herbicides, Rotenone will be sprayed on and into the water from boats.
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