British Columbia

B.C. 'Frankenfish' report being investigated

Officials in Burnaby, B.C., are investigating the report of a snakehead fish in a local public pond, concerned that the highly invasive animal could wipe out local species and even threaten small household pets.

Snakehead fish video posted on YouTube said to be from Metro Vancouver lagoon

Biologists are looking for a snakehead fish filmed at Burnaby, B.C.'s Central Park 2:21

A biologist will inspect a lagoon in a Burnaby, B.C., park Wednesday to see if the invasive snakehead — a so-called "Frankenfish"  from Asia — has somehow found its way there.

A video posted on YouTube, purported to have been taken at the Central Park lagoon on Sunday, shows what looks like a snakehead fish.

Snakeheads are considered highly invasive, can grow to a metre in length and have rows of pointy teeth.

They are reported to have wiped out native fish stocks in parts of the U.S. The snakefish is said to eat frogs, birds and even small pets.

"It's just a voracious predator," said Michael Russello, an associate professor of biology at the University of B.C.'s  Okanagan Campus.

The fish also has a primitive lung system that allows it to stay out of water for extended periods and move between bodies of water, said Russello.

The northern snakehead is native to China and Siberia, and could survive a Canadian winter, experts say. (U.S. Department of the Interior)

It is dubbed "Frankenfish" because of its unusual appearance, voracious diet and unique anatomy.

Burnaby officials are concerned and want to know if the YouTube video is legitimate.

"We've contacted the Ministry of Environment to find out the protocol for dealing with this and we've also contacted a biologist to come in and actually confirm that it is actually one of these snakehead fish," said Don Hunter, Burnaby's Assistant Director of Parks.

It’s not clear what Burnaby will do if it determines the fish is actually breeding in its waters.

With files from the CBC's Robert Zimmerman