SD Least Wanted.comAquatic invasive Species

SD Least


Consists of 4 species:

  • Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes)

  • Northern Snakehead (Channa argus)

  • Bullseye Snakehead (Channa marulius)

  • Blotched Snakehead (Channa maculata)


Southeast Asia


Snakeheads have long, fully connected dorsal and anal fins. Adult snakeheads have large visible teeth on both the upper and lower jaws.


The effects of snakehead introductions are widely unknown as the species has only recently been introduced to the United States. Since they are a largely piscivorous fish, it is believed they may directly compete with native predatory fishes such as walleye and pike.

Range Expansion:

It is believed that snakeheads were introduced to lakes and rivers by aquarists and fish markets after care for the animals became difficult and/or expensive.

South Dakota Distribution:

Snakehead have not been found in South Dakota.

Keep Aquatic Invasive Species Out of South Dakota's Waters


  • Remove aquatic plants and animals before leaving any waterbody.
  • Drain water from bait bucket, live well, bilge and motor before leaving any waterbody.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, fish parts, and worms in the trash.
  • Spray/wash boat, trailer, and equipment with high pressure hot water on your way home or at home -OR- dry everything for at least 5 days.
  • Always report questionable species.


  • Never release live animals or plants - this includes all aquarium species, bait, pets or water garden plants. Do not release these into the wild. If you cannot find another home for animals, dispose of them in a trash can or bury them. Seal plants in plastic bags and dispose.


Because these hitchhikers can:

  • Reduce game fish populations
  • Ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment
  • Make lakes/rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers
  • Dramatically increase the operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, dam maintenance, and industrial processes
  • Reduce native species
  • Degrade ecosystems
  • Affect human health
  • Reduce property values
  • Affect local economies of water-dependent communities.
More information on