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#44132 05/09/03 10:02 AM
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Lately everytime I am at my pond I see at least six snakes, is this normal? I think most of them are common water or garden snakes but I have seen a few cotton mouths. Do they primarily eat fish? Is there anyway to control their numbers besides using a shotgun. Any insight would be appreciated.

#44133 05/09/03 01:14 PM
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I had two so far...Put the .22 on them...Have not seen anymore as of yet

#44134 05/09/03 01:50 PM
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I have had a few more snakes then before. They seem to each fish and frogs. I cleared the shoreline and them seem to have moved from that area. The shotgun or .22 work good.

#44135 05/09/03 04:07 PM
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I don't really know why you would want to kill every snake you saw near your pond. They really don't eat that much, and having them around will help control any rodent problems. Even though it may seem like they are plentiful, snakes are in decline throught North America. I can see taking them out if there are way too many, but a few snakes around your pond don't effect it too much. I am sure it would be fun watching a bass nailing a garter snake swimming across the surface of the water anyways. \:D

#44136 05/09/03 08:51 PM
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Jimbo,
Don't think they meant garter snakes....around here, its Moccosins and copperheads. Very aggressive and dangerous.

#44137 05/11/03 12:49 AM
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Alan your right about the cottonmouth,copperhead being agressive. I don't like a snake that will chase you and strike when not threatened.They are dangerous to young kids that don,t know any better than to prevoke them.It is not a good chance to take leaving these types of hazards around.You have enough things to worry about. If you have a rodent problem cut back the brush keep the suroundings mowed and buy a cat. DOC


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#44138 05/11/03 03:56 PM
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I have worked on ponds all over Georgia, some in Carolina and Alabama. I have never been "attacked" by a snake. I have been bitten by several dogs. So far the dogs are ahead on the biting score board 3 to 0. I'm not saying that snakes cant be aggressvive, I'm just saying that I have never observed this behavior. When you consider the amount that I am outdoors for work, and then factor in deer and duck season. I would say my chances of being snake bitten are better than the average guy. If given the choice on what animal I'm confronted by at work I'll choose a snake over a dog anytime. (I'll take a snake over a gator too!)

Another problem I see around here is misidentification of snakes. every snake that is observed swimming is a cottonmouth to most folks. Its not warm enough in Atlanta to have a reproducing population of cottonmouths. I have never seen a cottonmouth north of Macon, Georgia. I think their population flanks us up the Savannah river and on the other side of the state up to Rome, Georgia. I have done extensive hunting and stream surveys on those flanking rivers and have never seen a cottonmouth so I dont think the population is very big north of Augusta/ Macon line. As far as I can tell there are no cottonmouth's in Atlanta or most of north Georgia for that matter. Of the south Georgia cottonmouths I have seen they were at full speed, directly away from me.

I would encourage you to learn more about snakes and how to identify them. You dont want to kill any king snakes because they can eat other snakes and are even resistant to snake venom. A large king snake can take down an Eastern Diamondback Rattle snake. Ever seen a 7 foot rattle snake? thats one snake you dont want under your porch. I probably wouldnt been too worried about a few water snakes. As long as you dont mess with them they wont mess with you.

#44139 05/11/03 06:59 PM
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Shawn,
Personally I have always liked snakes. I would guess I have caught just about every variety in my home state (North Carolina) & have been bitten by pretty much all the non poisinos ones. Of those the black racer & the common water snake are agressive. I get bitten mostly because I don't try to hard not to ... they can't do much damage.
So far as a cottonmouths are concerned, they can be agressive. They tend to stand their ground at times which is a behavior I have personally witnessed and am not too fond of! All snakes compete with your fish for food ie: frogs, tadpoles, forage fish, salamanders, insects ect. I do not want them around my pond for that reason. You will not find many frogs around a pond with a couple of full grown water snakes in residence.
Sorry, but yes we do have cottonmouths in abundance in eastern NC.
Ric


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#44140 05/11/03 07:04 PM
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In Texas, we have them all. I used to kill every snake that I saw, didn't like them one bit. Over time, I've changed. They're fun to watch and do serve a purpose. I can now easily identify the poisonous ones, they still get shot. \:D

#44141 05/11/03 09:11 PM
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All native posinous snakes in North America are pit vipers except the coral snake which is found only in the southern most region. The pit vipers are easily identified by a vertical iris if by no other means. All the native nonposinous snakes in this country have round pupils.


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If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
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#44142 05/11/03 10:52 PM
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Has anybody seen that movie Lonesome Dove.Shan I have not been so lucky with snakes.I have had them jump in the boat out of trees.I've had them come all the way across a pond to attack me.But shoot them with a little copper sulfate and they change their minds.I seen the same thing that happened in that movie to a black lab it was the most horrible way to die that you could witness. DOC


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#44143 05/12/03 12:28 PM
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Ric,

you may reconsider letting non venomous snakes bite you. while attending UGA I was in a lab and one of the graduate TA's fancied himself a snake handler. He caught a banded water snake for the class and was bitten in the process. within 24 hours he developed a terrible fever and was very sick, he had to be admitted into the hospital for a few days. he got some type of bacterial infection from the snakes mouth.

Lakedoc,

you are right those water snakes can be bold sometimes but I have never had one get in the boat. sometimes when we are shocking they pop out of a dock or log. they get seriously mad when you shock them with about 400 volts pulling 4 amps. If they get too close to the boat the electricity will wad them up like an old extension cord. a few bumps of juice and they get the point and go away. I have never seen one die from shocking it, I have seen many take advantage of the stunned fish and get a quick meal.

I guess I dont get too worked up about the snakes. The only one that makes me nervous are the rattlers. I think the Eastern diamondback are the largest and most poisionous in N. America. (except for the coral) I once saw one while driving to the hunting camp. I thought it was a retread that was thrown off a big truck. it was laying across the road and when I passed it its head was on the white line and its tail touched the yellow line in the middle of the road. and it was not laying straight, there was a slight S shape so that snake was longer than 8 feet. Its thickness was more comparable to my upper leg than to my arm.

Once you have delt with old EDB everything else seems kind of wimpy. I've got a good pic. I'll try and post it

#44144 05/12/03 01:38 PM
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I am also seeing more than my share of snakes this year. I try to avoid killing any living creature, but with kids at the lake, I am not taking chances(with the snakes - not the kids). When I was dating my wife, we were swimming in the middle of a lagoona and a mocasson swam straight for us. Last year my kids brought friends to my lake and when they pushed the boat from the bank, there were three snakes in a nest underneeth. Last weekend one came straight at me. Maybe they are just curious, but I don't want to find out. If I knew that they are not poisonous, I would leave them alone and enjoy watching them. I heard that you can identify poisonous snakes by the pupils. I try to kill them or run long before I see them eye to eye. Does anyone know better way of identifying poisonous snakes?

I am pretty sure that most of mine are mocassons. They have nice pattern that gets lost in the upper black body. Ehm, I haven't shot one on shore so I could take a close look at it. I am not even sure that I hit one at all, but at least they must be going deaf from all the close shots.

#44145 05/12/03 03:00 PM
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Shawn,
Please post the picture .. I've heard other first hand sightings of EDB's that size but research I did on snakes several years ago says they don't get that big. I would love to have the oportunity to catch one.
Your'e right, although the Western Diamond Back venom is more potent it only injects apx 100 miligrams while the Eastern Diamond Back injects 500 miligrams causing much more tissue damage & making it much more dangerous. Pit vipers venom attacks mussle tissue so the greater amount of venom in the EDB is more likely to lead to amputation if not treated quickly.


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#44146 05/12/03 03:58 PM
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Ric,

cant figure out how to post on the board. the picture I have is not of a very large snake but of 3 smaller snakes that were killed because they would not quit living under the house. the largest was a 5 footer. I'll email you the photo

There is usually a large snake killed down there every year. It makes the local paper, I'll try and find an old copy.

If you have the urge to catch a rattlesnake and you are in Georiga I can put you on some good ground.

#44147 05/12/03 07:52 PM
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Ed,
I would suggest taking pictures of the snakes in your pond if you're opposed to killing them & look them up. I am unfimiliar with the types of water snakes in your area but as Shawn stated most people encountering a snake in the water consider it a cottonmouth. Around here our common water snake looks enough like a copperhead that even I hesitate before picking it up. Cottonmouths are usually short & fat with a stubby tail. I have seen them in varying hues of grey or brown sometimes with yellow undersides. They are an ugly snake.
There's no easy way to identify the snake from a distance without much practice especially considering the encounter is usually emotional. Look up the snakes most common to your area .. study the pictures every day .. you will eventually be able to identify any snake in your area.

Ric


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If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
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#44148 05/12/03 10:20 PM
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Thanks, Ric.

I will have to look at the different snake pictures. Thick with a stubby tail definitely fits the description. The neighbor's son moved away to college before I bought the land. He catches anything that slithers. I will have to catch up with him sometime.

Ed.

#44149 05/15/03 09:32 PM
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I watched a National Goegraphic special last night. several scientists went out and found copperheads, cotton mouths and rattle snakes and tried to entice them to bite. they even made a fake arm equiped with sleeve and glove for picking up the snakes.

they concluded that the copperheads and cottonmouths reputation was more folklore than fact. 2/3 of the cotton mouths they caught would not strike, even when picked up. their theory was the snake was afraid to break a fang.

I'm not going to go picking up snakes any time soon. but I thought it was a very interesting show. watch for the re-run.

BTW the rattlesnakes reputation as aggressinve stayed in tact. it was the quickest to bite and not afraid to bite more than once.


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