Halloween season has passed us by once again. Time to put away the scarecrows, 9-foot skeletons and pack up the ghost inflatables on the front lawn. We will see Frankenstein again in about 10 months but there is one scary creature that lives in New York year-round.

There is a fish with sharp teeth used to eat almost anything in sight, can grow up to 3-feet in length and has the ability to travel on land while breathing air. If you encounter this 'Frankenfish' you must kill it.

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What the heck is a 'Frankenfish'? According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the Northern Snakehead (a.k.a. 'Frankenfish') are a predatory fish from Asia that feed on other fish species as well as crustaceans, reptiles, mammals and small birds! What?!

Keep an eye out for a fish with large, dark blotches along their sides and a somewhat flattened head, large mouth with many teeth. Many confuse the snakeheads with the native bowfin.

So how did these creeps get to New York? The DEC says that the Northern snakeheads were most likely introduced via a intentional and unintentional releases from fish markets as well as aquarium dumping.

Should you catch one:

  • Kill it immediately and freeze it
  • If possible, take pictures of the fish, including close ups of its mouth, fins and tail.
  • Note where it was caught (waterbody, landmarks or GPS coordinates).
  • Report it to your regional NYS DEC fisheries office or to NYS DEC's Invasive Species Bureau at isinfo@dec.ny.gov or (518) 402-9425

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