COLUMBIA, PA – Pennsylvania Biologist were alarmed this week after discovering invasive Coney Island Whitefish in the Susquehanna.
“We was walking by the river when my boyfriend pointed at a strange fish we never seen before” said Columbia resident Tina McQuate.
What McQuate and her boyfriend witnessed was a Coney Island Whitefish.
According to POL Biologist Earl Sneed Coney Island Whitefish are not natural to the Susquehanna but are easily transported and introduced.
“The Whitefish have long been associated with Coney Island and the New Jersey coastline but can end up anywhere if people are careless. Once introduced they will there forever unless they are captured and removed.” explained Sneed.
As an invasive species Coney Island Whitefish are a danger to native species and the environment.
Sneed detailed one particular risk to native species, “Susquehanna Sea Turtles may confuse the Whitefish as their natural food and ingest them. The turtles are unable to digest the Whitefish and eventually die.”
DCNR is encouraging everyone who finds a Coney Island Whitefish to remove it from the river and call the DCNR. WGAL Television is also assisting in the effort and has asked viewers to email any pictures they have of the Whitefish to firstname.lastname@example.org.