Any and all species of Snakeheads are ILLEGAL IN USA! This is for informational purposes ONLY and to bring traffic to our site. Snakeheads that are caught in any state in the USA are not to be kept and not allowed to be kept as a pet!
The federal Lacey Act put the breaks on snakeheads throughout the US and its' territories. They're illegal to acquire, sell, transport over state lines, or own without a permit. There are NO permits for private owners. Permits are issued to institutions only. Here's the summary of the Lacey Act:
The Lacey Act prohibits the importation, transportation, and acquisition of wildlife species deemed to be "injurious" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The following fish and invertebrate species are considered to be injurious under the Act:
(2) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any of the species listed in this paragraph is prohibited except as provided under the terms and conditions set forth in Sec. 16.22:
(i) Live fish or viable eggs of walking catfish, family Clariidae;
(ii) Live mitten crabs, genus Eriocheir, or their viable eggs;
(iii) Live mollusks, veligers, or viable eggs of zebra mussels, genus Dreissena;
(iv) Any live fish or viable eggs of snakehead fishes of the genera Channa and Parachanna (or their generic synonyms of Bostrychoides, Ophicephalus, Ophiocephalus, and Parophiocephalus) of the Family Channidae, including but not limited to:
(A) Channa amphibeus (Chel or Borna snakehead).
(B ) Channa argus (Northern or Amur snakehead).
( C) Channa asiatica (Chinese or Northern Green snakehead).
(D) Channa aurantimaculata.
(E) Channa bankanensis (Bangka snakehead).
(F) Channa baramensis (Baram snakehead).
(G) Channa barca (barca or tiger snakehead).
(H) Channa bleheri (rainbow or jewel snakehead).
(I) Channa cyanospilos (bluespotted snakehead).
(J) Channa gachua (dwarf, gaucha, or frog snakehead).
(K) Channa harcourtbutleri (Inle snakehead).
(L) Channa lucius (shiny or splendid snakehead).
(M) Channa maculata (blotched snakehead).
(N) Channa marulius (bullseye, murrel, Indian, great, or cobra snakehead).
(O) Channa maruloides (emperor snakehead).
(P) Channa melanoptera.
(Q) Channa melasoma (black snakehead).
( R) Channa micropeltes (giant, red, or redline snakehead).
(S) Channa nox.
(T) Channa orientalis (Ceylon or Ceylonese Green snakehead).
(U) Channa panaw.
(V) Channa pleurophthalmus (ocellated, spotted, or eyespot snakehead).
(W) Channa punctata (dotted or spotted snakehead).
(X) Channa stewartii (golden snakehead).
(Y) Channa striata (chevron or striped snakehead).
(Z) Parachanna africana (Niger or African snakehead).
(AA) Parachanna insignis (Congo, square-spotted African or light African snakehead).
(BB) Parachanna obscura (dark African, dusky, or square-spotted snakehead).
Source: 50 Code of Federal Regulations §16.13.
And as far as permits are concerned:
SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adds all species of
snakehead fishes in the Channidae family to the list of injurious fish,
mollusks, and crustaceans. By this action, the Service prohibits the
importation into or transportation between the continental United
States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States. The best
available information indicates that this action is necessary to
protect wildlife and wildlife resources from the purposeful or
accidental introduction and subsequent establishment of snakehead
populations in ecosystems of the United States. Live snakehead fishes
or viable eggs can be imported only by permit for scientific, medical,
educational, or zoological purposes, or without a permit by Federal
agencies solely for their own use; permits will also be required for
the interstate transportation of live snakeheads or viable eggs
currently held in the United States, for scientific, medical,
educational, or zoological purposes. This final rule becomes effective
immediately upon publication.
DATES: This rule is effective October 4, 2002.