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#158650 04/14/09 11:54 AM
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Besides keeping the shores of your pond/lake neatly maintained/groomed/mowed, any other ideas in keeping cottonmouth numbers to a minimum or preferably nonexistent?

My pond will be by my house, so I thought maybe a cat or two would help....don't want dogs because they bark at deer....

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You might try some guienaas. I know that the rattlesnakes don't care to much for them and they keep ticks away as well.

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There are snake traps on the market, but Im not sure how well they work.


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I've never seen a cottonmouth problem at ponds. Maybe they're there, but too shy to show themselves.

The watersnakes can get overly plentiful, but they're harmless. Other than shooting them, I don't have a solution. Maybe king snakes would do the trick.

Edit:

Cats are poor to useless at snake control. Chickens will taddle tale on them, but won't kill the big ones. As someone said, guinea fowl are excellent at killing or running off all snakes, but they have noise and poop problems. I rather live with an occasional snake than all that noise and mess.

Last edited by bobad; 04/14/09 01:13 PM.
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King Snakes work to some degree as they have a natural immunity to most venomous snakes and prey on other snakes.

Keeping one there may prove difficult though. I found a 5 foot one in the barn next to my pond and shortly thereafter found 13 snake eggs. I was able to hatch 3 of them out and ID them as King Snakes. They went right back to the pond and barn. I have only seen one copperhead on my property in the last 3 years. Haven't seen any since releasing the King snakes.


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guineas.......that's interesting.........they are from africa where there are numerous snakes

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bobad.....it surprises me that youhaven't seen many cottonmouths in ponds down in bayou country

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I know you said you did not want dogs, but I have a JackRussell Terrier and she kills anything and everything smaller than she is from snakes to birds and moles. She doesn't chase the deer, but does bark at 'em. Guess you have to weight your options and decide what you can live with and what you would rather live without.

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Keep at 12 gauge handy. That and keeping the shores clean (like you said) will go a long way.


"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."
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 Originally Posted By: cougar
bobad.....it surprises me that youhaven't seen many cottonmouths in ponds down in bayou country


Seen only 1 cottonmouth on my land since I bought it in 2000. I sent her on her way. I have several kings I see regularly, so her survival is not assured.



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I've found that the more you are around your pond, working, making noise etc. the less snakes you see. Particularly the cottonmouth, as bobad said is prety shy. The northern watersnakes can be pretty feisty. Seven grandkids, so any snake is in imminent danger when I'm there.

Last edited by burgermeister; 04/14/09 06:02 PM.

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It's been a long time since I've seen an aggressive water snake.

Our snake of the day is usually a rattler. In 25 years of owning the place, I've only seen 2 really upset aggressive ones. They didn't get to pass on any bad genes. Unless they are around the house, barn, shades or ponds I don't mess with them.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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I am a fan of guineas...

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Lucky Guineas.


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My neighbor had Guineas and I was really happy when they got rid of them. During deer season, I couldn't hear the deer walking thru the woods, they are that noisy! I had a stand approx. 300 Yds from the Guineas tho.

They got rid of them because they wanted some peace and quiet at the house, they orig. were the kids 4-H project.

Hogs will eat snakes as well, but I think they will do more damage than good.


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bobad you are a indeed a non-hypocrite when it comes to conservation....I can't say the same for myself when it comes to cottonmouths

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Okay guys, just a few days ago we were talking about snakes and dogs. Well check out the pictures and let me know, my backyard biologist instincts tell me water moccasin, doesn’t have the markings of a copperhead. First poisonous snake I have seen in my yard since I moved out here in 1997. Despite the pellet holes, I do believe the dog got it first! So there you go cougar, Jack Russell Terrier, killing machine. You actual biologists can chime in and line me out. Sorry for the poor quality pics, hard to hold a deadly predator in your hands and a camera!
http://picasaweb.google.com/saroberts02/SnakePics41709?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ60-5uFgJDksgE#

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Moth balls

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 Originally Posted By: cougar
bobad you are a indeed a non-hypocrite when it comes to conservation....I can't say the same for myself when it comes to cottonmouths


Not really. Lucky for that moccasin she wasn't on my hit list. I have 1 firm rule about critters. I don't allow myself to arbitrarily kill any animal. I must think carefully and have a very good reason for doing so. If they're dangerous, too numerous, or delicious, their in grave danger. My current hit list is the diamondback water snake, brown water snake, and red ear turtle. All are too numerous. I would rather relocate them, but it's too hard to do.

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Yep, Cottonmouth moccasin. The only viper in the USA that remotely looks like that is the copperhead, and they have very distinctive markings.

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agreed, definitely a cottonmouth.

Strizzo, could a jack russell be trained to NOT bark at deer?

Landowner, my wife suggested mothballs also, but I figured that was just an ole wives' tale....worth a try regardless, but, out of curiousity, is there any scientific explanoation to those repelling snakes?

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 Originally Posted By: bobad
 Originally Posted By: cougar
bobad you are a indeed a non-hypocrite when it comes to conservation....I can't say the same for myself when it comes to cottonmouths


Not really. Lucky for that moccasin she wasn't on my hit list. I have 1 firm rule about critters. I don't allow myself to arbitrarily kill any animal. I must think carefully and have a very good reason for doing so. If they're dangerous, too numerous, or delicious, their in grave danger. My current hit list is the diamondback water snake, brown water snake, and red ear turtle. All are too numerous. I would rather relocate them, but it's too hard to do.


I broke my rule Saturday and killed a 5' DB watersnake..it was way too aggressive and just would not leave..when I was inspecting the watersnake I looked up and had a 6' rat snake in the tree limb above me..I poked it with the end of a rake and it basically turned around and said.."don't poke me"


"Is the Poop-Deck really what I think it is?" - Homer Simpson

"A man can't just sit around" - Larry Walters, 1982

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Cougar, I do not know if you can train JRT not to bark at deer, they are very smart dogs. There are anti-bark collars, shock collars(like for bird dogs, hit them when they do bark at deer), keep the dog inside at night? Ours stays outside all day and comes in at dark and she sleeps in a pet carrier.

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 Originally Posted By: Sgt911
 Originally Posted By: bobad
 Originally Posted By: cougar
bobad you are a indeed a non-hypocrite when it comes to conservation....I can't say the same for myself when it comes to cottonmouths


Not really. Lucky for that moccasin she wasn't on my hit list. I have 1 firm rule about critters. I don't allow myself to arbitrarily kill any animal. I must think carefully and have a very good reason for doing so. If they're dangerous, too numerous, or delicious, their in grave danger. My current hit list is the diamondback water snake, brown water snake, and red ear turtle. All are too numerous. I would rather relocate them, but it's too hard to do.


I broke my rule Saturday and killed a 5' DB watersnake..it was way too aggressive and just would not leave..when I was inspecting the watersnake I looked up and had a 6' rat snake in the tree limb above me..I poked it with the end of a rake and it basically turned around and said.."don't poke me"



I live in Iowa where we really dont have snakes, and I am in the process of moving to Mississippi. They didn't mention anything in the brochures about snakes living in trees!!


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Hey Tyler.

This is what you can look forward to when you are on the front of the electrofishing boat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_UnV3RbCtg

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G thanks Chris, that was a real confidence booster!


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tj, how did you get from SDSU to Moo U?
You will find good fishing around there. Get on the Ms. fishing forum.


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Tyler when you get the chance go over and meet Marty Brunson.
















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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
tj, how did you get from SDSU to Moo U?
You will find good fishing around there. Get on the Ms. fishing forum.


Just wanted to go from 1 great fisheries school in the North, to another great fisheries school in the South. New biota, new people, new experiences, just adding to the toolbox. I will definitly have to look up the Miss fishing forum!


 Originally Posted By: ewest
Tyler when you get the chance go over and meet Marty Brunson.


Is he a snake expert?


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No he is a Fisheries Scientist PhD who now runs the "Catch A Dream Foundation" (hunting and fishing trips for sick kids) through the University. A super guy and noted fisheries study author and past Chairman of the MS Wildlife Federation and past head of the Co-op Ext. program.
















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He sounds like an awesome person to get in touch with when I get down there. Thanks ewest!


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tj, congrats on grad school! Way to go!


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Thanks Sunil!


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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
tj, how did you get from SDSU to Moo U?
You will find good fishing around there. Get on the Ms. fishing forum.


Easy on Moo U there. That's my school you're talking about.

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 Originally Posted By: Chris Steelman
Hey Tyler.

This is what you can look forward to when you are on the front of the electrofishing boat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_UnV3RbCtg


That video never gets old! \:\)

I have all the Bill Dance bloopers on my favorites list.


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Build a homemade snake trap.

Get 30 ft of chicken wire or screen and make a fence 1-2ft high next to the pond. Make sure you bury it a little so nothing can crawl under it. At the ends of the fence on both sides put standard minnow traps. So you need 4 traps 2 on both sides. Cover the traps with a board or anything you trap will die in the direct sunlight. This works our professer used it in college to trap snakes. You also trap mice and other critters. The snakes will get to the fence and go right up it into the traps. We caught 2 copperheads in one trap. Its a live trap so you can release them if you want. Also you can put a couple around the pond fairly cheap. If you dont want to deal with the traps just turn the minnow traps up so nothing can get in. When you decide you want to trap some more put the minnow traps down. This thing works trust me.

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Seems like, to me, that most snakes could go through chicken wire. The entry hole in my minnow trap is about the size of the holes in the chicken wire. What makes them avoid the holes in the chicken wire and then accept the hole in the minnow trap?


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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Dave,
Maybe that's why it's called "chicken wire"?


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
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What the heck time is it in Thailand now, Rad?


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Theo,
Right now it is 2019 hours. Maybe an hour after I wrote that. You guys are getting up as I am going to bed, sort of.

Dave is an early riser so he and I are here together often.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
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IF YOU SHOOT A COTTONMOUTH IN YOUR POND CAN IT BE HARMFUL TO THE FISH?

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Welcome to the forum sdupond...

As long as that shot is fatal, I think the cottommouth is then pretty well harmless. If you stuck your finger on a fang messing with a dead snake, it may be an issue, but I doubt the fish are gonna go messing with a dead snake. Although, if a big catfish tried to swallow the dead snake whole, it'd be interesting. I suspect the upper and lower jaws would keep the fangs inside the mouth and protect them from sticking the catfish's stomach or throat...

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Wish I knew how to post my son's picture he took of a water snake with a catfish in its mouth. Probably wouldn't load anyway since I have dial-up.

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 Originally Posted By: sdupont
IF YOU SHOOT A COTTONMOUTH IN YOUR POND CAN IT BE HARMFUL TO THE FISH?


Not harmful at all. It will be gone in no time. The turtles and crawfish will get it started, and the fish will finish the job.

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