There are invasive fish signs posted on the road near my camp.

A couple years ago, I noticed some signs along the camp road, indicating that if you were to catch a Northern Pike in our lake, that you needed to kill it immediately and, under no circumstances, throw it back. You were specifically asked to kill it if you caught it. Seems harsh, but Northern Pike can decimate a small lake.

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Personally, I've never seen any in our pond. But I've always kept an eye out. Sadly, Maine is home to many invasive species of fish. Often, they're either pets that someone let loose, or they got in by some other means. But there's on fish that's been spotted here and there, and it has environmentalists quite concerned.

The fish in question, is the Northern Snakehead.

Landwalking "Snakehead" Fish Appears In Philadelphia
Getty Images

The Northern Snakehead has been spotted in a lot of fairly random areas. Everywhere from California to Florida, and Hawaii to Massachusetts. But what's reeeeally freaky about these fish, is that they can survive on land for a hot minute. They can actually breathe air for a short time through their gills.

Snakehead Fish Found In Lake Michigan
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Yup, they can actually travel short distances on land. It's nuts. Different species of snakehead can grow to different sizes too, anywhere from 10 inches up to 3 feet! And they'll eat just about anything. Smaller fish, mollusks, and even rats. So they're pretty much an apex predator in US waters.

Snakehead Fish Found In Lake Michigan
Getty Images

Are they in Maine?

Near as anyone can tell, they haven't established an actual breeding population here in Maine, but they've been spotted. Considering they already have a foothold in Massachusetts, it probably only a matter of time before we see them more regularly. As an invasive species, you're supposed to dispatch them, by removing their heads.

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It's seems a bit crazy, but these fish could cause quite a bit of damage. The good thing is, if you do catch one and kill it, they're totally edible! US restaurants haven't been serving them, but they're definitely a delicacy in other parts of the world. But remember, there's nothing good about them from our perspective. So let's just make dinner out of this problem.

Oh, and of course, more things to watch out for in the woods...

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