Exotic fish discovered in Virginia reservoir

Exotic fish discovered in Virginia reservoir
The fish DO NOT move across land on their own.

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - An exotic fish first discovered in Virginia in 2004 has now made its way to the Lakeview Reservoir in Colonial Heights.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said the presence of the northern snakehead, which are native to areas such as China, Russia and Korea, was confirmed on April 27.

"Exotic species like snakeheads can disrupt natural aquatic systems and may have significant impacts by feeding on and competing with native and/or naturalized fishes," VDGIF said in a statement on Friday.

Since 2004, they've also been discovered in several other bodies of water including Lake Anna and the Rappahannock River.

VDGIF says that "contrary to popular depictions in the media, northern snakeheads are not capable of moving across land. Most new occurrences are caused by people intentionally introducing (stocking) them into new bodies of water."

The fish can also transmit parasites and diseases to native wildlife.

Anyone who captures a northern snakehead is asked to take a photo and contact VDGIF at 804-367-2925.

VDGIF also says anglers can keep the fish, but they must be killed following capture.

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