Two men fishing at Lake Whittington caught the very first Northern Snakehead Fish in the state.
Brad Baugh and Bubba Steadman are bow fisherman from Cleveland MS and on June 5, 2017 they made the catch, took a photo, and immediately contacted the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).
“Snakeheads have been present in the White River Basin in Arkansas since 2008 and have been steadily expanding their range towards the Mississippi River,” said MDWFP Delta fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock. “The Mississippi River provides these fish with access to connected oxbows like Lake Whittington as well as the Yazoo and Big Black Rivers.”
The Northern Snakehead is native to China, Russia, and Korea, however they have established populations in Arkansas, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia where their impacts to native fish populations are unknown.
Northern Snakeheads are usually found in shallow waters because they are able to breathe air which allows them to survive long amounts of time out of the water.
For more information about fishing and invasive species in Mississippi call 601-432-2200 or visit www.mdwfp.com.