05/24/2012 11:45 EDT | Updated 07/24/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. Frankenfish: Experts Can't Find Strange Fish During Burnaby Expedition

BURNABY, B.C. - A voracious metre-long fish that may be skulking in the waters of a Burnaby, B.C., pond appears to be gaining a reputation as a slippery character — in more ways than one.

The torpedo-shaped snakehead, capable of snapping up mammals two-thirds its size in its wide and toothy jaw, has apparently been seen in the muddy lagoon of Central Park, but it eluded government fishermen sent to reel it in on Wednesday.

Crews from the Environment Ministry, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and the City of Burnaby tried several methods, including running electric currents through a lagoon to shock all the fish and scoop up any unwelcome species.

An eight-kilogram carp and several turtles have been hauled away, but there's no sign of any so-called Frankenfish, capable of breathing oxygen and squirming short distances over land.

Environment Ministry spokesman Matthias Herborg said the unsuccessful fishing trip doesn't mean the creatures aren't there, and officials will return to the lagoon, in hopes of making a final determination.

"They also visually surveyed the second large pond and the outflow stream from the ponds for snakeheads, but did not observe any," said a statement from the Environment Ministry.

"Based on results, staff will develop a plan for followup surveys to take place in the next few weeks."

Snakeheads, native to fresh water in Russia and China, have few predators when fully grown and could pose a severe risk to B.C.'s wild salmon stocks if they reach the nearby Fraser River. (News1130, The Canadian Press)

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