The toothy, nasty-looking creature with the torpedo-shaped body caused quite a stir when it was spotted inside a Burnaby lagoon. The northern snakehead then proved rather elusive, evading potential captors from the Ministry of Environment time and time again.
Ministry officials – who feared the dangerous predator would attack Central Park lagoon’s native species – tried several different methods to catch the snakehead, including electricity.
They finally succeeded Friday, using an old-fashioned net. The snakehead – about two-thirds of a metre in length – was caught and killed.
“Obviously, these fish are at risk of wiping out other species in B.C., so we want to find out as much information as possible,” Environment Minister Terry Lake said after the capture.
The snakehead was caught on video in the Burnaby lagoon in mid-May. Efforts to catch the fish were especially urgent because it can reproduce quickly and could have spread to the Fraser River and threatened salmon stocks.
B.C. is the only jurisdiction in North America that allows the import of northern snakeheads. Mr. Lake said last month that the province could add the fish to its list of banned exotic animals. The northern snakehead is native to Asia and Africa.
Officials have said the snakehead could have been dropped into the Burnaby lagoon by someone who no longer wanted it as a pet.
With files from Dan Fumano and The Canadian Press