My fishing partner, who made the trip happen. The fish was 31 inches long and over 11 pounds.
Again, notice the coloring and scale pattern. A fish that gives the impression of being a dinosaur, some prehistoric creature from the deep. Native to China, it was quite an experience catching such a large specimen right here in our backyard.
Pretty fascinating--notice the eyes are located almost at the tip of the snout. Snakehead are ambush predators with great eyesight that come up from below when striking a lure. Coloration is also very cool. The overall effect is decidedly reptilian.
The elongated dorsal and anal fins are one of the distinguishing characteristics of a snakehead, as is the truncated tail.
Notice the Big Bulge in the belly. I don't know what it was eating, but it was either large or it consumed a lot of it. These invasive fish are alpha predators with the potential for strong impact on other fish species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service writes, "This can severely alter the feeding habits, food availability, and behaviors of other members of an ecosystem.' So far, though, I am pleased to report that other fish seem to be holding their own (largemouth bass, for instance, continue to be abundant).