Tonight: Snakehead Hunting at John Heinz

The invasive Northern Snakehead fish can survive on land for three days and in water indefinitely. (Brian Gratwicke/Flickr)

All summer long, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge — a big, gorgeous stretch of protected marshland near the airport — is hosting Snakehead Fishing Nights, calling on the public to help rid their waters of the dreaded “frankenfish.” Why is this organization, usually dedicated to keeping animals alive, so intent on killing these particular fish?

Here’s what we know about the Northern Snakehead:

  • They’re an invasive species, imported from China, with no natural predators in North America besides all the things that usually eat fish.
  • They breathe air, meaning they can squirm around on land whenever they want to.
  • They are slimy and have teeth.
  • They have snakes for heads.
  • Adult snakeheads eat other fish and frogs. Sometimes they eat mammals, including rats.
  • Oh so now we like rats?
  • The species is sometimes called the “frankenfish” because you can just name things whatever apparently.
  • OMFG I just watched a video where some dude tries to catch one using a duckling as bait. Don’t look it up.
  • Snakehead fish have been found in FDR Park, the Schuylkill River and video games.
  • The Syfy network has released three informative films about this animal: Snakehead Terror (2004), Frankenfish (2004) and Swarm of the Snakehead (2006).
  • Snakehead fish dream of sprouting hands and seeing what kind of trouble they can get into that way.

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Who Paid to Get Us on National Geographic’s List of Best Spring Trips?

Great Barrier Reef / Fish Tank Guy

Photos: Great Barrier Reef by Richard Ling (license); Fish Tank Guy image via Google Street View

What do the Coral Sea, home of the Great Barrier Reef, and Philadelphia, home of the Fish Tank Guy on 5th Street, have in common? They’re both on this National Geographic list of Best Spring Trips for 2017.

Yes, Philadelphia and the Great Barrier Reef, together at last! National Geographic has a list of “some destinations that will help you welcome the season’s nicer weather,” and Philly is on there. Read more »

Tens of Thousands of Fish Wash Up in Multiple N.J. Fish Kills

Peanut Bunker via Brian Gratwicke, license,

Atlantic menhaden, aka peanut bunker by Brian Gratwicke via Creative Commons license,

Another day, another fish kill at the Jersey Shore.

This Sunday, thousands of dead fish washed up at the Atlantic Highlands marina in Monmouth County.

On Saturday, about 15,000 to 20,000 dead fish washed up in Little Egg Harbor in Ocean County. Earlier last week, more dead fish popped up in Keansburg in Monmouth County.

So what’s causing these fish kills? Per the Asbury Park Press, the state Department of Environmental Protection says that “most likely, these large groups of fish are bring chased by predator fish from colder waters, into warmer waters.” Read more »

Study: Intersex Fish Found in Delaware River Basin

Scientists are searching for the source of chemical contamination after a study found evidence of intersex fish in the basins of Pennsylvania’s major rivers, including the Delaware. The intersex fish were also found in the Susquehanna and Ohio river basins. The Susquehanna is the most contaminated of the three, while the Delaware is second-most.

Per the study, conducted by the United States Geological Survey and published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, smallmouth bass and white sucker with intersex characteristics were found in all three rivers. It’s a sign of exposure to reproductive endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

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Turney And Safran Watch: Little Nonna’s Now Officially A Thing


So we’ve been wondering for a while now what, exactly, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran were going to do with the space-formerly-known-as-Fish at 1234 Locust Street. We knew they’d taken the address to add to their already significant 13th Street holdings. We knew that work there had already begun, and that a lot of it was focusing around the kitchen area. But what we didn’t know was what, exactly, the to of them had planned for the space.

Until now.

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Marcie Turney And Valerie Safran Are Taking Over Fish


Over on the Insider, they’re reporting that it’s a done deal–that the owners of Barbuzo, Jamonera and Lolita (which just picked up a liquor license) have now officially decided to expand off of 13th Street (which they essentially own) and try to take on a new neighborhood by snapping up Fish.

No news on what, exactly, the pair plan to do with the double space (remember: this is also where Rhino Bar lived and died), but Klein does have a nice, succinct look back at the history of the embattled space under Mike Stollenwerk and others.

Owners of Lolita, Barbuzo and Jamonera Taking Over Fish [Insider]

Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before, Flooding at 1234 Locust Street


The last couple of nights, the above sign has been in the window at Rhino Bar (last week there was a closed for private party sign), the successor to Fish at 1234 Locust Street. We called over to the Independent Hotel which sits atop Rhino and the latest, smaller Fish. The hotel informed us that Rhino Bar is closed because of flooding. The same reason given for Fish’s closure back in May of 2012, that turned out not to be the truth at all. All this comes just a month after Mike Stollenwerk parted ways with Fish and Rhino.

The hotel also told us that Fish is still open and Rhino should return next week. But Fish’s web site is gone and OpenTable doesn’t have anything open for tonight (but the rest of the weekend and beyond is wide open). A call to the restaurant went unanswered.

So here we are again, wondering what is going on a 1234 Locust Street.

UPDATE: Michael Klein has tweeted that this time, the flood is real.

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