The New York State Department of health has declared open season on an extremely invasive fish that can destroy entire ecosystems.

State officials are hard at work trying to contain numerous invasive species that have spread to New York. Some of them are a lot more dangerous than others.

One highly destructive invader is the spotted lanternfly because they are capable of infesting fruit trees, vineyards, and wooded areas. With New York's growing vineyard scene, these pests have the potential to destroy it entirely since they feast on grapevine sap.

Read More: New Yorkers Urged to Kill Every Spotted Lanternfly They See

Naturalists are also working to disrupt further growth of invasive reed grass phragmites that have popped up in some marsh areas because they have the potential to eliminate local flora and fauna.

Conversely, one invasive species appears to have been contained, feral swine, but the threat of their return still looms as there are established packs in neighboring states.

Unfortunately, another horrifyingly invasive species was somehow introduced to America and efforts are underway to banish it from the Empire State's waters.

Snakehead Fish Found In Lake Michigan
SDA via Getty Images

The species residents are urged to watch out for is the Northern Snakehead fish, also known as the "Frankenfish," which is native to Asia. This horrible creature has already established itself in parts of the country; including parts of New York State.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation warned, "It is crucial that we stop the spread of this invasive predator to protect the health of our waters, wildlife and fishing industry."

These fish are described as being brown with large, dark patches on their sides. They have a fin that runs the length of their back, have flattened heads that somewhat resemble a snake's, and can grow to 3 feet in length. They also have large mouths filled with nasty teeth.

Check out the video below to get a better look at them and learn why they are bad news.

These fish nosh on food sources of native fish, including insects, crustaceans, and insect larvae. When they grow in size, they then begin targeting other fish, reptiles, mammals, and small birds.

This is why they are now classified as "Injurious Wildlife."

Said the DEC:

Snakeheads have the potential to reduce or even eliminate native fish populations and alter aquatic communities. Municipalities which rely on tourist dollars from recreational fishing may suffer losses should northern snakeheads continue to invade New York waters.

What's even worse is that they can spread to bodies of water not connected via rivers or streams. Said the DEC, "Snakeheads can also spread to nearby waterbodies on their own as they can breathe air and survive for days out of water."

Yes, these fish can breathe air and walk themselves out of the water to take over a nearby pond, lake, or bogs. They can survive up to 3 days on land.

Snakehead Fish Found In Lake Michigan
SDA via Getty Images

"The best method for dealing with northern snakeheads is preventing their spread and establishment," the DEC warned, "Once they are in an area, however, there is little that can be done to control and manage them."

Currently, they have been found in two connected ponds in Queens. These fish were also found in Ridgebury Lake in Wawayanda back in 2008 and officials used the pesticide rotenone to destroy the population there.

These fish have no known predators in America, so their populations can continue to grow unchecked.

If you see or catch one, the DEC asks you to not put it back where you found it. Instead, take photos from numerous angles and throw that sucker straight in the trash to die.

The DEC said send the photos to and let them know exactly where the fish was caught.

It's believed these creatures were introduced in the state by people who illegally owned the fish, illegally used them as bait, or via fish markets.

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Keep an eye out for these species and you hike, work around the yard or do some fishing this year. Should you locate any of these it is important to report where and when you found them to the New York State DEC.

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