The Northern Snakehead fish first showed up in Maryland in 2002. It was quickly dubbed ‘frankenfish’ for its ability to survive out of the water to slither across land. In 2005, the fish was found off a pier north of the Navy Yard. And its now been caught in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, widening the local habitat for this Asian native.
When it turned up in one of the lakes in South Philadelphia’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park in 2004, many worried that its voracious appetite for fish, frogs, and small mammals would allow it to take over ecosystems. Though they are a very aggressive fish, philly.com reports that at least two factors have been able to keep the population relatively contained. Bass in the local waterways have taken a liking to the flavor of frankenfish and FDR Park fishermen have been giving the unwelcome visitor a run for its money by targeting the creatures and not throwing them back.