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I haven't found any of the varieties mentioned with the eye(s) in that location.
Is that a single eyeball in the middle of it's snout?
Perhaps if you had laid it on the ground, it might have walked away...a dead giveaway it's a snakehead.
The burbot do have a seperation in the fins, so my money goes on snakehead....yesssirrreee!
 

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It may be a snakehead or a bowfin but definitley not a dogfish. The dogfish i have seen, the heads are much larger and wider then what I see on that fish.
 

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Todd - Dogfish is slang for a Bowfin. The long anal fin eliminates the bowfin/dogfish. A dogish has a single anal fin.

It's down to a Burbot or Northern Snakehead. Again, if the postee can tell us whether or not the dorsal is singular or if it's two dorsals (you simply can't tell from the picture) will eliminate a call to the DNR...
 

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My vote is snakehead, but Gotfish can you give us more pictures. I'd like to see some dental work.
 

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i've seen burbot and thats definately not a burbot. I talked with someone at henry's and they said bring it in and they will look at it and contact the appropriate athorities. Please try to do this, this is a big deal if that turns out to be a snake.
 

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Snakehead for sure - call a conservation agent

I am a fisheries biologist and I work with invasive species, so I know my invasive fishes. And that fish is definately a snakehead, and I think it is Channa argus argus, the northern snakehead, which is capable of overwintering in your area. I assume you are not pulling my leg and that you caught the fish in the Chicagoland area. This is important enough that you should call a conservation agent (game warden) RIGHT AWAY. Most conservation agents should know what a snakehead is and act accordingly.

That is a really bad thing to see. It will cause a big hubbub if you take it in to your local state fisheries office. It would be the first one caught in the Chicagoland area, but this species is established now in Pennsylvania and in the Potomac River (MD, VA, DC). Please, please, please do not discard or release the fish or allow it to escape. Bash it over the head and put it in the refrigerator, but do not freeze or chop it up. If you have frozen it already, that would be all right, but let someone in your state know as soon as possible. I will notify some federal officials regarding this website, but they will not be in until Tuesday (Columbus day tomorrow).
 

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most definintly snake head. not able to reproduce in the great lakes. odd yes, but look at the bellys of the perch in the lake now, full of gobies. envasive speices or forage
 

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The northern snakehead should have no difficulty whatsoever in reproducing in the Great Lakes. It has the temperature tolerance and it is a littoral nest spawner much like a largemouth bass. The young are guarded for a while by one or sometimes both parents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
ugly fish

Here's a tooth pic:


To all: Thank you for responding and helping to id this fish. I am sorry for not posting this earlier, and for originally stating that it had no teeth. As for my intentions? I will definately attempt to report this to the IL DNR. If I am unable to get anywhere with that, as a last resort I will take it to Henry's. Rest assured, all who are concerned, that I WILL report this. ESPECIALLY now that we have a pretty good idea of what it is. To those of you who bet on the outcome of the species in the pic, again, sorry for the no teeth thing! :lol: You probably wouldn't have stuck your fingers in there when it was still alive either.
 

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UGLY and SCAREY looking indeed! One would assume that IF you found one of these there's probably a lot more out there. Not good eh? I wonder how good they fight? C.C.T.??? (Catch, Clobber & Trash?)
 

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Hey FishStalker - wasn't it one of these ugly things some Wisconsin DNR employee tossed back into the Mississippi a while back? Where a fellow employee saw a photo of it at a later date and I.D.'d it? I don't recall if it was one of these or some other invasive specie. Boy, I'll bet he had some egg on his face though huh???
 

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I've read that snakeheads taste similar to, and as good as tuna :eek: :lol: After positively identifying that thing, fire it up on the grill and let us know how it tastes :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
eat it?

You want me to eat it? Even if it wasn't sitting in my garage in a bucket of water for over 24 hours, would you eat it? Yuck! :oops:
 

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Fishart - It was a snakehead that was released by a Wisconsin DNR employee after he mistakenly ID'd the fish as a "strangely colored bowfin". But unlike the northern snakehead, that was a species that is unlikely to survive in Wisconsin, except perhaps in a warm water effluent from a power plant or something similar.

Gotfish - I've eaten snakehead several times in China. Snakehead is a preferred fish in China and brings a high price. Asians like to purchase their fish for the table extremely fresh. As you've noticed, snakeheads live for a long time out of the water if they are kept moist - so they can be transported easily to the US for sale in live markets. That is probably where your fish came from. (Northern snakeheads are not prominent in the aquarium trade, because they are not as colorful as other varieties.) Anyway snakehead flesh may be attractive to the Asian palate, but in my humble opinion, they are not one of my most favorite fish to eat. The flesh reminds me of tofu. That may be related to the way the fish is prepared. In China, most fish are served at the table with the head on. I have never seen that with snakehead. Snakehead meat is usually served in short strips in a stirfry. There must be a reason for this, but I'm not sure what it is. Anyway, please don't eat your fish until after it has been examined by the DNR.
 

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So, some guy from Chinatown sat on the lakefront to eat lunch and his sandwich jumped out of his hands and into the drink? starnger things have happened.
 

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An accidental release of snakeheads to the wild is possible but not likely. In Maryland, one pair of fish that was captured was purchased live by a man who wanted to make a "medicinal soup" for his wife. He said his wife got better before he made the soup, so he just let the fish go. It wasn't done maliciously, but the guy just did not know any better. Also, in some Asian cultures people sometimes buy live fish from the market for release to the wild as a sort of prayer, and to show respect for the environment and for wild things. These "prayer releases" are misguided and extremely dangerous. Also, it is just possible that someone would simply purchase and release the fish in the hopes that the fish would reproduce. A person who likes the fish and wants to catch them from the wild might do such a thing.
 

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I've caught Oscars and Pacu before when I lived in Fla. Tank fish turned loose mostly, but this one bothers me.
From what I've read this could really turn into an issue. Some kid catches one, brings it home still floppin and mom makes him toss it out back, in Blackberry creek? Shabonna? the Chain?
Then again, Would they eat carp??????
This needs some attention from the press. I had no idea they were even close to Illinois. Figured it was an East Coast problem.
Surprise!?!?!?!
 

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It takes two to tango! With a fish of any kind, it takes quite a few more than two to make a family. Chances of reprodution in a lake the size of ours is miniscule with only a handfull of reports of capture or sightings of this fish to date. Report it YES, but thats only one of the many life forms this great lake has in it's bowels. Many more are yet to be discovered.
 
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