DEC Looking For Snakehead Fish In Central Park Lake

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Signs around a Central Park lake are warning anglers about a predator fish that threatens to disrupt the ecosystem.

The signs around the Harlem Meer ask anyone who catches the northern snakehead fish not to return it to the water. Anglers are asked to “secure the fish” and “keep it in a secure container until it is picked up by officials.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation began surveying the lake Tuesday night to try to verify the sightings and determine just how many snakeheads may be in the water.

DEC officials said one snakehead was found in the Harlem Meer back in 2008 during a general survey of the lake. According to the DEC’s website, the fish has also been found in two connected ponds in Queens and at another lake in Orange County.

FILE - A snakehead fish (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FILE – A snakehead fish (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The snakehead eats frogs and crayfish and can live out of water in certain conditions. It is native to China, Russian and Korea and is capable of growing to at least three feet long.

New York State prohibits the possession, sale and live transport of snakehead fish and their viable eggs, according to the DEC.

The Harlem Meer is a man-made lake located in Central Park’s northeast corner between 106th and 110th streets.

For more information about the snakehead, visit

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