DEC sprays to eradicate aggressive snakefish

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They take a vicious bite out of whatever fits in between their sharp little teeth, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation wants them eradicated.

DEC workers donned protective suits and facemasks Tuesday as they sprayed pesticide into Ridgebury Lake in Wawayanda. The DEC is trying to kill aggressive snakefish, which are normally found in Asia.

The predators with fins somehow wound up at Ridgebury Lake and Catlin Creek a few years ago, posing a threat to native fish. The DEC says it's willing to kill off some native fish to stop the snakefish from spreading to the Hudson River.

While locals agree that the fish don't belong, they're worried about the chemicals. They say the pesticides may pose a health risk to children at a nearby day care center and other wildlife.

"It stinks," says one resident. "And if it was in your backyard, I'm sure you'd feel the same way."

The DEC plans to restock the lake once the pesticide subsides.

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