State conservation authorities have confirmed the discovery of a fourth northern snakehead in Missouri waters. The invasive fish was caught by an angler over the Memorial Day holiday weekend below the spillway of Lake Wappapello in southeastern Missouri’s Wayne County.

The northern snakehead preys on native fish species and competes for food and other resources. It can also breathe air and can slither across land from one body of water to another. They can grow up to three feet long, their heads resemble a snake’s head, and their bodies contain colors and patterns similar to a python.

The first confirmed northern snakehead in Missouri was found in 2019 in the Bootheel region, in a borrow ditch within the St. Francis River levees in Dunklin County. The second and third snakeheads were both captured last year, according to the Department of Conservation.

If you catch a northern snakehead, kill it by cutting off its head, gutting it, or putting it inside a sealed plastic bag. Also, photograph it and forward the photo to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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