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Northern Snakehead

Illustrator
Susan Trammell Illustration, courtesy of USGS
Season
Open Year-Round

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Size Limit
No Size Limit

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Delaware Range
Northern Snakeheads have now been reported in the Nanticoke River, Broad Creek, the Marshyhope, Nonesuch Creek, tidal pool adjacent to the Christina River, Muddy Run and Becks Pond.
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Uncommon (for now)
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Northern Snakeheads prefer ponds, streams, rivers, and other freshwater areas where they can find vegetation.

They prefer to eat soft-rayed fish but will also feed on frogs, crustaceans, small birds, mammals, and reptiles.
General Description
Northern Snakeheads have a large mouth with many teeth.

They can be differentiated from bowfin by the long anal fin extending along the lower back half of the body.
Did You Know?
Northern Snakeheads, also known as the “Frankenfish”, are an introduced species to Delaware (meaning they are non-native).

They are native to China.

Northern Snakeheads can use their swim bladder to get oxygen and survive for up to four days out of water, so long as they are moist.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Almost any lure used for largemouth bass fishing (spinnerbaits, plastic worms, jigs, and topwaters) will catch Northern Snakeheads.

Golden Shiners and minnows are common live baits.

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Typical Sizes Caught
Being a newer invasive species to Delaware, minimal information is available on the recreational catch of Northern Snakeheads. The Northern Snakehead can reach weights of 18 pounds.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
No Live Release Awards will be given for Snakeheads

Sport Fishing Tournament Award (must be dead at the time of weigh-in)
Adult: Any
Youth (age 15 and under): Any
Delaware State Record
12 pounds 12 ounces
Bobby Smith
2017