October 15, 2004

Beware The Frankenfish

Ever since I first heard about the Northern Snakehead appearing in a Maryland pond, I've wondered if maybe they were the second coming of the sea lamprey, whose invasion of the Great Lakes in the middle of the 20th century had devastating impact on the region's commercial fisheries (although urbanlegends.about.com is far less concerned about the snakehead than I am).

I fear that time has now come, as a Frankenfish was found in a Chicago harbor:

A fish known for a voracious appetite and ability to wreak havoc on freshwater ecosystems has been found in Chicago's Burnham Harbor. An angler caught an 18-inch northern snakehead last weekend.
. . .
Scientists describe the northern snakehead as a "Frankenfish" for its ability to survive in oxygen-depleted water, move from pond to pond and eat other fish. It's a native of Asia and can grow to more than three feet in length.

It took the better part of fifty years to get the sea lamprey problem under anything resembling control; I don't think we have that kind of time here (especially if, as the voices in my head tell me, the Chicago fish hitchhiked from where the species was originally found in Maryland). If only we can get the lampreys to start attacking the snakeheads...

Posted by Chris at October 15, 2004 03:51 PM

Category: General Weirdness

I wonder if the other reference to this is the (Al) Frankenfish.... feeds voraciously without the need for an oxygenated brain!

Posted by: Spuds at October 20, 2004 04:01 PM