Freaky Air-Breathing Fish Threaten To Invade Central Park

invasive snakehead fish

New York City officials are worried that a freaky air-breathing, land-walking (supposedly), invasive species of fish is set to invade Central Park’s waterways, potentially wreaking havoc on the local ecosystems.

The fish is commonly called the snakehead fish and it is a dangerous invasive species. The ugly but successful predator has local environmental officials worried. 

The northern snakehead (Channa argus) can grow three feet long, can breathe air, eats ravenously, and lays masses of eggs in just a few days.

Some claim, though others disagree, that this aggressive predator can even wriggle on the ground, effectively making them a dangerous puddle-jumper that can move between lakes.

But before moving on, they clear a lake of every edible fish. This clip from National Geographic doesn’t oversell the disastrous fish:

The fish hasn’t been officially documented in the park’s lakes yet, but officials are headed out into the water Wednesday to search for it for the first time since 2011.

Supposedly, one of the fish had recently shown up in Central Park’s Harlem Meer (in the northeast corner of the park between 106th street and 110th street). It has also been seen in Queens.

This video seems to be the successful capture of a Northern Snakehead from a Central Park pond, according to YouTube uploader Bruce Causier:

There must be some worry about the fish’s presence, because the city has posted warnings around the lake about the fish. They advise that anyone who catches it should not release it back into the water.

Instead, turn the fish into the authorities or call 311.

The sign is “just to let people know that this fish is in there, if you find it please do not return it to the water and it also helps people become aware that there are things in the water that should not be there,” said Melissa Cohen, Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries manager, told NBC News.

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