Last week, Arkansas Game and Fish biologists Lee Holt and Jeff Farwick caught 40 snakeheads that had escaped in floods from a reservoir in northern Arkansas. They gave six to the Memphis zoo, killed most of the rest, and saved a couple to eat. They breaded them in cornmeal and fried them up. “They tasted a lot like crappie,” a popular game fish, Farwick said. In other words, really good.
We spent several hours with them touring the 77-square mile site of a snakehead kill in 2009 near Brinkley, after a local farmer found one on a gravel road next to a ditch. The fish are nicknamed Frankenfish because they’re voracious, fast-growing predators that breathe air and can wiggle across dry land. The 2009 poisoning took out hundreds of the fish in local streams, ditches and ponds. But some remain.
We watched a captured snakehead in a tank in their office speed to the surface to snap up a small fish and try to eat two others in the tank.