Two agencies within the Department of the Interior (DOI) are responsible for researching and regulating snakeheads: the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). As the research arm of the DOI, the USGS has conducted extensive, worldwide research on snakeheads that provides a basis for regulating the importation and interstate transport of those fish in the United States
Funding for that research was sponsored through a grant from another DOI agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for fisheries management, regulations, law enforcement, and education. In 2002, the FWS added the snakehead family of fish (Channidae) to the list of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. This includes all currently recognized species and any new species that may be described within that family in the future. By taking this action, snakehead fish can no longer be imported into the U.S. or be transported across state lines without a permit.