NEW YORK — Like so many young fish before them, living in the boroughs with dreams of the big city, the northern snakehead has finally made the move from Queens’ Meadow Lake to Manhattan’s Harlem Meer in Central Park. Yet, the invasive predatory species, native to China, Russia, and Korea, has not found the big city so welcoming.
The species, dubbed “Fishzilla,” can grow more than three feet long and has the ability to breathe air and survive for days outside water.
Now that the northern snakehead has been seen moving into the Harlem Meer, the current residents are fleeing. Although the largemouth bass, carp, pickerel, and other residents of Harlem Meer enjoy an unbeatable location with sweeping views of NYC’s most famous patch of green—not to mention a controlled rent of zero dollars a month—the small community is experiencing “fish flight.”
Some scientists believe the fish are afraid of the possible increase in crime—a likely explanation, considering the northern snakehead will eat anything in its path, including frogs and other fish.
Some former Harlem Meer fish have already been seen resettling in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake, which many fish are calling “up-and-coming” and “really a more desirable location anyway.”
“We love the diversity,” said one new resident of their decision to change locations, “I mean, there’s diversity, and then there’s…diversity.”
Young fish hopefuls from the suburbs have already started moving in to the now less desirable Harlem Meer.