Invasive Fish Species

-Nile Perch

Nile Perch (Lates niloticus)

Weighing 440 pounds and more than 6 ft long. Is one of the best examples of the negative effects invasive fish can have on ecosystems. The Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria in Africa It is causing the extinction or near-extinction of several hundred native species. Nile perch's diet consisted of native fish such as cichlids. Nile perch stocks have been decreasing due to fishing pressure.

Fishing for Nile Perch: live bait, various large fishing lures, heavy fishing line and medium action to heavy action fishing pole will work on this invasive fish. Tim Smith caught a world record Nile Perch a 249 pound Nile Perch in Murchison Falls, Uganda, Africa.

Red Lionfish

Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans)

The Lionfish can grow up to 17 inches. The spines of this fish species deliver a venomous sting that can cause extreme pain, sweating, respiratory distress, and even paralysis. Lionfish venom glands are located on the spines. If you are stung by a Lionfish, seek medical attention immediately. Lionfishes are now established off of the Atlantic Coast of the from Florida to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Fishing for Lionfish is not recommended. Lion fish will take small fishing lures and jigs, small live baits and cutt baits. Lite action fishing pole with light line. This fish is mostly found on the bottom so a fishing weight may be needed.

Walking Catfish

Walking Catfish (Clarias batrachus)

2 feet long, an air breathing catfish named for it's ability to "walk" across dry land to find food or suitable environments. It is found primarily in the democratic republic of Congo and Southeast Asia, has been found in the U.S.A.

Fishing for walking catfish: cheese, worms, night crawler worms, or cut mackerel. Light to medium action fishing pole. 4 to 10 pound test fishing line. Catfish are mostly found on the bottom so a fishing weight may be needed.

Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels and Quagga mussels.

Are water filter feeders, quaggas are rounder in shape, while zebras are more triangular and can be flat on one side. The top image illustrates some zebra mussels while the bottom image shows some Quagga mussels. They remove substantial amounts of phytoplankton, zooplankton and suspended particulate from the water, which reduces the food sources for zooplankton and small fish, altering the food web. With the filtering out of suspended particulates and phytoplankton,Quagga Muscles water clarity increases allowing sunlight to penetrate the water deeper triggering increased vegetation growth that can affect oxygen levels resulting in fish die offs. Quagga and zebra mussels were discovered in the Great Lakes, Lake Mead and throughout Lake Mead’s lower basin. Subsequent surveys found smaller numbers of Quagga mussels in Lakes Mohave and Havasu in the Colorado River, and in the Colorado River Aqueduct System which serves Southern California. Surveys found Quagga in Lake Dixon and San Vicente Reservoir in San Diego County. All reservoirs, lakes and watersheds receiving raw Colorado River water have been exposed to Quagga mussels.

Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish
(Pylodictis olivaris)

Native to the Mississippi River drainage in big rivers, it has been transplanted to waters all over the U.S. Flathead catfish are great to catch and eat but they cause problems when introduced into non-native waters. They grow big and weigh 130 pounds and fight hard so they are a popular game fish as well as a food fish.

Fishing for Flathead Catfish: Best baits for Flathead catfish is live bait sunfish, craw fish. Light action to medium action fishing pole will work. 10 lb test line fishing line to 80 lb line.


Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

include several species bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix). Some species of carp can weigh 100 pounds and grow to four feet long. They were brought to the US as a food fish but have escaped into waterways and spread, damaging native populations of native fish. Carp are a serious problem in the United States where they are not native. They spread very fast and often destroy native species.

Fishing for Carp: Carp fight hard they are fun to catch! Fishermen have caught carp using worms, bread balls or a french fry. Use a size 1 hook and no sinker.

Blue Tilapia

Blue Tilapia, Mozambique Tilapia
(Oreochromis mossambicus)

Weighing 9.6 pound 2 feet long. Tilapia Have become the most abundant invasive fish species in the Gulf states. Tilapia often compete with native species for the same type of food, and can therefore cause declines in native populations. Tilapia that have escaped from aquaculture facilities may interbreed and form hybrid fish. Some species of tilapia have out competed native fish species and preyed on native larval fish in areas where it was introduced.

How many world record fish are caught from a dock, at night, with a bread ball as bait ? At least one, because that's how Pamela Henry of Stuart, Florida caught a 9.6 pound blue tilapia.

Round Goby

Round Goby
(Neogobius melanostomus)

10 inches. The species was accidentally introduced into the North American Great Lakes by way of ballast water transfer in cargo ships. Round Gobies eat the eggs of native animals, mussels, crustaceans, small fish. They out competed native fish species.

Fishing for Round Goby: Any live bait or cut bait just off the bottom will bring them. Small jigs and lures work as well. a #6 or #8 hook.

Nothern Snakehead

Northern Snakehead
(Channa argus)

Weighing 18.37 pounds four feet long. Snakehead fish are not native to the US but are being found in some states. There are now 31 documented exotic fish species in Florida’s fresh waters with the addition of the Florida Snakehead. Anglers have been Snakehead fishing and catching them since 2000, while Snakehead fishing is restrained to residential canals and fishing ponds in Broward County Florida for now. Most anglers initially think there a bowfin until noticing a distinctive dark spot rimmed in brilliant orange near the base of the tail fin.

Fishing for snakehead: is similar to bass fishing, most anglers will catch largemouth bass while snakehead fishing. They eat bluegills, small carp, crayfish. Lures such as bass poppers, swimming frogs, and the classic woolly bugger. Lite to medium action fishing pole with 6 to 15 lb test fishing line.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass
(Micropterus salmoides)

Good taste and appealing sporting quality have caused the largemouth bass to be widely introduced throughout the world. It is a voracious, carnivorous, solitary ambush predator that feeds both day and night. Its diet includes native fish and amphibians.

Fishing for large mouth bass: Fishing lures like plastic frogs and lizards work good. Find out what the bass are eating where you are fishing. Bass like shad, crawfish, and worms. Once you figure out what the bass are naturally feeding on, it's a matter of finding the right color fishing lures or bait. A light to medium action fishing pole. 4 to 10 lb fishing line.


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