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Basically, treat it like you just caught a zombie.
May 3, 2013 7:39 AM   Subscribe

New York City officials are asking visitors to Central Park's Harlem Meer to beware of the northern snakehead fish, a predator common in the rivers and lakes of Asia but considered an invasive species in American waters, which had been spotted.

NYC Department of Environmental Conservation

The DEC is asking fishermen who catch one give the department a call immediately and to not release the fish back into the water. In fact, anglers are asked to kill the fish, freeze it, and then report the catch.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (45 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Two weeks, tops, before they start appearing on the menus of finer dining establishments.
posted by goatdog at 7:40 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wooooo, my hometown's only claim to fame: First Appearance of the Northern Snakehead in America.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:42 AM on May 3, 2013


Goddamn fish tourists, I bet they don't do escalators right either. FLOAT ON THE RIGHT, SWIM ON THE LEFT.
posted by elizardbits at 7:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [31 favorites]


Recipes.
posted by zamboni at 7:46 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fishzilla: My Upper West
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:47 AM on May 3, 2013


Killing snakeheads? Sorry, DEC, I don't take on the Triads. Ask Tony Jaa.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:49 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like how the wording in the post makes it sound like it preys on humans.

This thing has been all over the DC-Baltimore area for a few years now - both in the watersheds and on menus. Don't let the name faze you, they are tasty. We're already wiping out dozens of fish species, why can't we do this one?
posted by troika at 7:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


At least SyFy will be able to continue its film series:

Fishzilla Takes Manhattan (2014)
Snakehead Terror vs Fishzilla (2015)
DinoCroc vs Giant Squid vs Fishzilla Terror (late-2015).

Looking forward to how they dress up some Eastern European city like New York. Tarps hanging off fir trees painted grey, maybe? I assume Paulie Walnuts will be a main character in each. "What's with these snakefishes, AYY-OH! Fuggetaboutit!!"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:53 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


If they're anything like those raccoons I saw in the northern park they will soon be too fat to move.
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wooooo, my hometown's only claim to fame: First Appearance of the Northern Snakehead in America.

Vancouver was first in North America.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:56 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Crofton was 2002. Those links are from last year. DON'T TAKE THIS FROM US, SYRUPSUCKERS
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:03 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Christmas 2015: Santa Claus vs. Zombie Fishosaurus vs. Croca-dino.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:10 AM on May 3, 2013


See also the awesome 2004 movie Snakehead Terror, starring Bruce Boxleitner. I seem to remember a line indicating that even though the movie takes place in Maryland, it would somehow take days to get some sort of antidote or poison from a major city.
posted by amarynth at 8:14 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was covered on the local news the other night. Intrepid Reporter Guy was holding one in both of his hands (head towards the camera) and while he was speaking, was gently shaking the fish up and down for emphasis. I kept rooting for the poor thing to wriggle out of his hands and go for his jugular.

They grow up to three feet long and are amphibious. Intrepid Reporter Guy interviewed Fisherman Dude:

"So the Parks department says that if you catch one, yer not supposed ta release it back. I caught a big one last week. A monster. Tossed it on da ground and when I turned back a couple of minutes later, dat sucker was gone. Just disappeared. He musta slipped back into the lake when I wasn't lookin'."

Either that or he's now terrorizing Fifth Avenue shoppers. Excellent work, Fisherman Dude. Helluva good job.
posted by zarq at 8:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


They can live for three days on land. They can crawl back into the water.

When a news reporter commented that they're creepy, Ron Swegman - fisherman and author said, "Literally! They creep!"
posted by vitabellosi at 8:19 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christmas 2015: Santa Claus vs. Zombie Fishosaurus vs. Croca-dino.

Please don't give SyFy any ideas.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:22 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


DC has had snakeheads in the Potomac for years, and contrary to fears when they were first discovered a little over a decade ago, biologists are starting to believe they haven't made a significant impact in the Potomac's ecosystem. There was an interesting article about them and their actual impact a couple days ago in the Washington Post.
posted by tittergrrl at 8:36 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


They can live for three days on land.

I just. Doing what? Do they like musical theatre?
posted by elizardbits at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2013 [25 favorites]


That's not such a big deal. I can live like, a week, maybe 10 days on land.
posted by mountmccabe at 8:55 AM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


elizardbits: He said treat it like a zombie, so you run it through town on the end of rigid poles then lock it in the shed to play on the PS3.
posted by biffa at 9:01 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just. Doing what? Do they like musical theatre?

Relevant
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: " I just. Doing what?"

Hunting down new food sources. Bugs. Pigeons. Rodents. Small pets. Toddlers. The occasional jogger or cyclist....
posted by zarq at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2013


What's most fascinating is how they've learned to vocalize and to mimic human speech.
posted by Flashman at 9:05 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


I think it's pretty clear that none of these motherfuckers have ever caught a zombie.
posted by Mister_A at 9:09 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


We've had these guys in New England for centuries! Why just look at the Waites and Gilman and tell me that determined immigrants can't make good. Sure, they were treated as invasive species for a few generations, but now we have accepted them as the social pillars of our decaying seafront towns!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


That said, if you were sitting in the Sheep’s Meadow smoking a joint, drinking a microbrew, and trying to go to second with a 24-year old publicist and a four-foot air-breathing snakefish ambled up, you would NOT be happy.

What a gorgeous sentence.
posted by painquale at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hunting down new food sources. Bugs. Pigeons. Rodents. Small pets. Toddlers. The occasional jogger or cyclist....

Guy Fieri vs. Snakehead in Guy Fieri vs. Snakehead: Off The Hook!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've fished I the Harlem meer. It is really just a largish pond but if you fish there people will tell you tales of giant fish caught, epic battles, and rods destroyed by monster fish. People who fish in Manhattan are a strange breed, not unlike the snakehead.

I believe that due to isolation have evolved independently of their non manhattan based counterparts. They use deep sea gear. More than once I've had an old guy wander over to me while fishing and advise me solemly that I need a stronger pole and line because some fish is going to break my shit in half.

I use the same rod I had as a kid, it was perfect for catching sunfish in prospect park. I used it all through my teenage years and caught everything from bluefish to walleyes to large mouth bass with it but the Harlem meer apparently harbors some kind of fish I've never encountered. And this is before the snakehead.

I am way too polite to explain how they should just set the drag on ther reels appropriately so I just nod and say sure, I'll look into getting a marlin rig and 100 lb test.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:51 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Basically, treat it like you just caught a zombie.

Lock it in the closet of the person at the top of my enemies list?
posted by Zed at 9:54 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do they like musical theatre?

I took a snakehead out to see a movie. Didn't have to pay to get it in.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:13 AM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


What's most fascinating is how they've learned to vocalize and to mimic human speech.

Hell, half of us have learned to fake up Mefi accounts and lie badly!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Half of THEM, of course. Not us. Hahaha.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


Treat it like a zombie? You mean run away like Brad Pitt? Have you seen that splay-footed galoot try to run? He's all elbows and knees. Fuck that. How about I run like Usain Bolt? That man runs pretty.

Or, I could treat it like it's a zombie from the Walking Dead, which means I wander around Georgia thinking about how my friend banged my wife.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:35 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Guy Fieri vs. Snakehead in Guy Fieri vs. Snakehead: Off The Hook!

Were this an actual cage match, I truly would not know who to root for.
posted by scratch at 10:52 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


FatherDagon: "Half of THEM, of course. Not us. Hahaha."

Hahaha!

Quick! Get the net!
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on May 3, 2013


That said, if you were sitting in the Sheep’s Meadow smoking a joint, drinking a microbrew, and trying to go to second with a 24-year old publicist and a four-foot air-breathing snakefish ambled up, you would NOT be happy.

Aw, the thing probably just wants a hit. After all, you know how that song goes:


I'm a joker, I'm a smoker,
I'm a midnight toker!
I'm an invasive and predatory species native to the waterways of East Asia that grows up to three feet long and can live for several days on laaaaaaaaaand, ...

posted by invitapriore at 11:20 AM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Relax & embrace the Snakehead. They're well-established down in SE Pennsylvania, and aren't going anywhere. Once they're in, they're there to stay. Oh, and they aren't the first invasive non-native species...not by a long shot. Now, if you want to be alarmed by an invasive species, check out the asian carp in the Mississippi river basin.
posted by VicNebulous at 12:18 PM on May 3, 2013


I always hear about invasive species from Asia hitting the US (snakeheads, longhorn beetles, above mentioned carp). Is it ever the other way around? Has New World or European species ever taken over Asia? If not, why not?
posted by Xoder at 12:22 PM on May 3, 2013


Well, Europeans did plant brown trout in Kashmir, New Zealand, and the Falkland Islands (and in North America). They finished off a lot of native brook trout (salvelinus fontinalis) in the US.
posted by alloneword at 12:46 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn you, Europeans!
posted by Mister_A at 1:44 PM on May 3, 2013


They can live for three days on land.

I just. Doing what? Do they like musical theatre?


I dunno, but rest assured that they're never seen drinking cappuccino in Italian restaurants with Asian women. Yeah?
posted by mr. digits at 2:39 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dwarf Fortress taught me many years ago not to mess with the carp.
posted by thecaddy at 7:19 PM on May 3, 2013


I am looking forward to a snakehead vs humbolt squid cage match.
posted by drowsy at 8:16 PM on May 3, 2013


Can we get people to force snakeheads to fight? Maybe then they'll quit it with the dogs and roosters.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:25 PM on May 3, 2013


Has New World or European species ever taken over Asia?

Yes, we call them backpackers and they are an invasive species, quite difficult to eradicate.
posted by elizardbits at 9:57 AM on May 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


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