The mouth of a northern snakehead fish is filled with many sharp teeth. 
Buck Albert, U.S. Geological Survey

I was looking for something better than this but had no success. The snakehead fish is here and what to do with it.

The snakehead gets its name from its serpentine appearance. It has a scaly head with eyes set near the top rather than the sides. It has mottled skin that looks a lot like a boa constrictor or python. The fish’s long body typically reaches three feet in length, but well-fed snakeheads have been known to reach five feet. Another tell-tale characteristic of the snakehead is its ability to breathe air. You might see it take a gulp of air at the water’s surface, or even spot it wandering river or pond banks, doing a twitchy slither as it hunts or looks for another waterway. Louisiana has a local species, the bowfin, that many people confuse with the snakehead. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has already received dozens of reports of snakeheads that turned out to be bowfins. Both fish are lanky with a long dorsal fin, and both can thrive in shallow, stagnant water. But the bowfin, also known as the choupique, has a much shorter anal fin, a black spot at the base of its tail, and shorter jaw that doesn’t protrude like the snakehead’s jaw.
A guide for telling northern snakehead fish apart from native Louisiana bowfins.
Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife

If you see one, kill it.

If you catch a snakehead, wildlife experts urge you to not toss it back into the water. Instead, you should kill it as soon as possible. The state of Maryland, which has been fighting the snakehead invasion for more than 20 years, has some fairly brutal instructions for what to do if you have a snakehead on your hands: “Decapitation, evisceration, cutting out its gut or pulling out its gill arches.” Maryland also publishes a detailed guide on how to dispatch a snakehead. It includes visual aids showing the precise spot to stab a screwdriver into a snakehead’s brain. Tossing a snakehead in the brush doesn’t help. As air-breathers, they can just slither back to water at their leisure. If you think a snakehead might make a nice pet, think again: It’s illegal to possess a live snakehead. And, as some snakehead owners can attest, the fish have a pretty nasty disposition and a voracious appetite. Wildlife and Fisheries asks that anyone who catches a suspected snakehead to take a photo of the fish, kill it, double bag it and freeze it. Then call the Wildlife and Fisheries aquatic invasive species hotline at (225) 765-3977 or send an email to

Segment of a Maryland Department of Natural Resources guide for killing northern snakehead fish. 
Maryland DNR

Once you kill it, bring it home for dinner.

Sure can. Snakehead has a light, flaky meat that’s a bit more firm than tilapia. Some people say its better than catfish or on-par with cod and flounder. There’s a bounty of snakehead recipes. You can bread it and fry it, eat it raw as a ceviche, or turn the fish into cakes and nuggets.

Northern snakehead fish cakes at a Baltimore restaurant.  Donald Orth,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

I would have to try it but since I like both of the comparisons it might be good – if I can get the fish out of my mind.

Snakehead fish refreshed