This study presents the results of ancient DNA analyses of eight snakehead (Channa sp.) bones from the Market Street Chinatown, a nineteenth-century Chinese diaspora archaeological site in San Jose, California. The sequences of a short stretch of the mitochondrial DNA identify the Market Street Chinatown snakeheads as Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes), a species native to Southeast Asia. These results provide the first archaeological evidence of the nineteenth-century trade of Asian freshwater fishes to North America, and they reveal that preserved fish products from throughout the Pacific World were readily distributed across the Chinese diaspora. We place our findings within the broader context of nineteenth-century Chinese migration to show how the common Chinese small shareholding business model and access to trade connections facilitated by Chinese-operated import/export firms known as jinshanzhuang allowed Chinese fishers to be successful across the Pacific World. Finally, we suggest avenues for future study by comparing Chinese migration-based, flexible fishing strategies using generalist methods with the highly specialized collection and trade of species like Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) in the North Atlantic.