back to article Piscine killer menaces UK rivers

A UK angler has provoked a piscine killer invasion alert by landing a 2ft snakehead in a Lincolnshire river - the first recorded example in British waterways of the highly-invasive southeast Asian species which will reportedly eat anything which crosses its path. Andy Alder, of Lincoln, hooked the beast while using a sprat as …


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  1. Jeroen Wijnands

    anyone got any recipes for it?

    According to wikipedia:

    In many areas of the world, the snakehead fish is considered to be an important food fish.

    So at least it's edible.

  2. Spleen

    "Banned from the UK"

    When will they learn that banning something is a guaranteed way to ensure it spreads like wildfire? It's worked for sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll for years.

  3. Mark

    It looks cross

    Mind you, I'd be bloody furious after being hooked and pulled out of the water

  4. Allan Rutland
    IT Angle

    And to see...

    Here's another reason for ID cards. These nasty illegal immigrant fishes in our rivers, am sure the gov's ID card scam will solve it :P

  5. andy gibson

    Do you reckon

    The Environment Spokesman actually did say "oh shit"?

    What can we expect next, Alastair Darling saying "Yep, we f*cked up over Northern Rock"?

  6. Ross

    Rings a bell

    [highly-invasive...will reportedly eat anything which crosses its path]

    So, like people then? Will someone please pass the VX...

  7. James
    Thumb Down

    Word for word from the Sun

    This report is taken almost word for word from the Sun. Where is the independent journalistic research to add to the story?

    There are too many stories being "lifted" from external sources without checking and separate verification.

    Maybe it's true, maybe it's not (the Sun must get some facts right some time!) ...

  8. Marc

    using a sprat as bait for pike...

    And I thought one used a Sprat to catch Mackerel?

    The herring bone one please ;-)

  9. Stuart Halliday

    No worry

    It'll be dead soon. Snakeheads can't live below 15C. Plus the chances of it coming across a female and wanting to mate with it in our cold rivers is pretty remote.

    More important issues like stopping the deadly Chytrid Fungus spreading in our countryside I think.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mating in cold rivers

    Difficulty finding a female to mate in a cold river is not a problem exclusive to fish.

  11. Aram

    @Allan Rutland

    Snakeheads with frickin' lasers are not going to bother with frickin' ID cards.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Escape from New york ?

    Why don't we just turn Manhattan island into a prison and send Snake piscine there ?

  13. Pyros

    A movie quote comes to mind...

    "Theres' motherfriggin' snakeheads in our motherfriggin' lakes!"

    It's the Samuel L. Jackson-brand leather coat, please...

  14. Anonymous Coward


    @ Stuart Halliday:

    It may be true that the snakehead "can't live below 15C" -- but it was found during winter. And it was found in the Potomac river, which is a colder climate than the UK. So that kinda squashes your theory.

    I can't stand environmental nutters like this who ignore the evidence so they can stop caring.

  15. Jay


    Are really up the creek with this one!

  16. eddiewrenn


    His eyes are freaky! I think that's one of the worst deaths I've ever come across, and we play 'Would You Rather' a lot!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    So ...

    ... where is the IT angler?

  18. John Ferris
    Gates Horns

    Gratuitous M$ Bashing...

    [highly-invasive...will reportedly eat anything which crosses its path]

    Rather like Microsoft Operating Systems and hard disk space...

    Come on, guys, trying for an IT angle. Angle? Angle?

    Huh, I'm wasted on here...

  19. lglethal Silver badge

    & the future reads thus

    In a weeks time the sun will report that the public's reaction of fear and disgust to pictures of the Snakehead amounts to racism against the Snakehead fish and that the poor fish pulled from the river was a victim of child abuse and traffickers and just wanted a fresh start in a new country but was vilified and persecuted by the government and the anglers association.

    The brainless masses will believe this and start a campaign to allow the family of the Snakehead to move to the UK and take up lodgings in the river from which the Snakehead was abducted by those evil anglers. Claims that the Snakehead was a hard working piscine and that he made a great contribution to british society will be made by a bunch of so-called experts (i.e people who had never met nor heard of the Snakehead until this story came to light).

    The government deciding that it must do something will organise for the family of the Snakehead (after of course a hugely taxpayer expensive investigation which really doesnt find the Snakeheads family but picks up some other Snakeheads from a quite possibly different south american country) and delivers them into the river where they promptly eat all of the native British fish and breed copiously in a rather anti-social way. This is spun to the sheep-like public as a great addition to the ethnic diversity of British waterways, and that the loss of the British fish cannot be blamed on the Snakeheads but is due to a clash of the piscine cultures. The public is assured that no expense will be spared to integrate the Snakeheads into British piscine society. Additionally anglers are prevented fishing in any location where the Snakeheads are believed to be so that their vile vilification of the new migrant fish is put to an end.

    Joe Public is happy and content and a new season of Big Brother starts and so Joe Public forgets all about the Snakeheads which go on to kill all of the fish species in any river they can get their hands on.

    The end...

    PS Yes i know i have way too much time on my hands!

  20. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down


    "PS Yes i know i have way too much time on my hands!"

    Most thinly-veiled racist wankers do.

  21. Chris C

    Who needs terrorists

    It's good to see that over here in the US, we decided to poison our own water. Who needs terrorists when we're willing, able to, and actively poisoning ourselves. All in order to "protect" ourselves, of course. Wait, that sounds familiar, doesn't it...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Now all you have is snakeheads

    It's too late they own you once you notice an adult they've bred out of control and eaten most of the other species they'll die back after they finish off everything in the river. No reason to worry it's already done. The reason I say all this is they are notoriously hard to catch only when they are very old and voracious will the average angler grab one. Have a nice day.

  23. garbo

    ...And they can ¨walk¨

    from a dry waterhole to the next pond or stream. Here in Thailand, they´re renowned for their firm flesh - steamed with celery & Chinese plums - and fighting spirit. They attack anything in their path, including bathers.

  24. GrahamT

    Re: "They attack anything in their path..."

    Maybe if they get into the same rivers as the escaped American Mink and Crayfish, they'll wipe each other out.

    Mine's the fishy smelling mink coat.

  25. Dave

    unsuccessful introductions

    from (I know it is not authoritative) wikipedia:

    "Channa argus, which is native to northern China (Amur River), was introduced to Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). It was introduced to Japan about 100 years ago due to fisheries motivations. Its introduction to Czechoslovakia by the government in the 1960s failed due to cold winters."

    even the bleak (no pun intended) R Witham doesn't get as cold as Czech Rep

  26. Matt Clarke
    Thumb Up

    The snakehead is Channa micropeltes

    I'm the editor of Practical Fishkeeping magazine's website and have seen a photograph of the fish the angler claims to have caught. It's Channa micropeltes, the Red- or Giant snakehead - a tropical species. I am personally extremely surprised that this species was apparently feeding. It normally lives in waters of 25-28 C and I would not rate its chances of survival long in water not far above zero, so I'm astonished to hear that the angler claims he caught it on a pike bait...

    More information on it here:

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