Invasive Species Of Eel Found In Louisiana Waterways
We don't think about all of the little things that are happening right before our eyes when we gaze over one of Louisiana's incredible swamps, marshes, or bayous. Each of those entities is a very unique and fragile ecosystem. All it takes for that flourishing system to be destroyed is the introduction of a species that doesn't belong. Unfortunately, that could be happening in some Louisiana bayous.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents are asking fishermen to be on the lookout for the Asian Swamp Eel. This creature, not native to our state, has been discovered in Bayou St. John near New Orleans. LDWF officials say the eel is not particularly dangerous or aggressive towards humans.
The problem with the creature is that it eats the same diet that many of our smaller native fish eat. Over time this could mean reduced food supplies for the smaller fish which just happen to be the main food source for some of the larger creatures.
Wildlife authorities aren't really sure how the species was introduced to Louisiana's waterways. It could have been an accidental release. Or, someone could have been dumping out an aquarium they no longer needed. Regardless, the species, often used as a food source in its native environment, is now poised to multiply in the waters of Louisiana's bayous.
Wildlife officials say if you have to net one of these creatures they would like to know all the details. When you caught it, where you caught it, and how you caught it. They also ask they should you land an Asian Swamp Eel that you do not release it back into the bayou.