Pnw snakes. Do garder snakes fish?

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Zunga, May 13, 2018.

  1. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    Good morning all! I didn't have a camera at the time. Crossing a foot bridge over a outlet tidal flow at low tide yesterday. I spotted a 2.5 to 3 foot brown snake swimming/slithering in 3 inchs of slow moving water. Rocks brown kelp, sand, shells and so on. Against the kelp I kept losing sight of it. Would only find it again when it moved. It had a month full of what I think we're small crabs. I can name two native reptiles here. In other word I know squat about them. Is it possibly a common garter snake? Has anyone witnessed fishing snakes? I had simply never considered it before. It stopped me in my tracks. Their is also a weasel of some kind in the same area. I've seen it after shell fish there. Anyhow something interesting to watch for next beach trip!
    Cheers Jim
     
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  2. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    Absolutely. Garter snakes seem to prefer fish. People who keep them as pets usually feed them goldfish.
     
  3. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    It was really cool to watch. It would disappear in rocks and kelp. Then I'd spot the tail trashing around. I realized he had his head in a crevice in the rocks. Likely after prey. The shape of the mouthful and behaviour made me think crab. :dblthumb:
    Cheers Jim
     
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  4. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    Cool thing to see. Maybe you could catch some things to eat in those tidal pools. Clams, mollusk, etc.
     
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  5. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    Not that spot it's a little close to a marina for my liking. But north of here is the oakover inlet. Apparently a shell fishing paradise. A buddy of mine camped there for a weekend. He was eating oysters the whole trip. Just walk out and pick them up! I've been lazy about getting the boat in the water. It is crab and cod season. :dblthumb:
    Cheers Jim
     
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  6. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    I've seen the striped ones in our irrigation ditches eating minnows and frogs many times.
    Quite a few I've spotted with a minnow not yet swallowed.
     
  7. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    We had a little pond at our old house. We put goldfish in it but they kept disappearing. Finally one day I saw a garter snake laying on the edge of the pond with his head under water. I didn't see him catch one, but I knew what he was up to. I once saw a big garter snake go into a pond that was drying up. There were thousands of minnows in the water that was left. That snake slithered across the mud and into the water, and then started tearing around the pond gobbling up minnows. That caused the minnows to start jumping out of the water onto the mud. After gorging on minnows in the water, the snake went back out onto the mud and ate a few more before he slithered off into the brush.
     
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  8. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    We had a in ground concrete and stone pond when I was a kid. A neighbor had one also. But was removing it because she had a toddler. We took the fish including "jaws" the biggest gold fish I ever saw. We lost fish all the time to raccoons. But never jaws. We had to totally drain and refill it every six months or so. A all day, all hands on deck job. We discovered we were making fish faster than losing them. I guess jaws had a reason to not get eaten. The ladies! LOL
     
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  9. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    At least in the SE, they eat fish.
     
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  10. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    The ones around my neck of the woods do.
     
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  11. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Almost forgot. I bet the snake you saw was a common water snake.
     
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  12. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    You know I was thinking about why I know so little about local reptiles. Best I can figure. Is once I knew there are no venomous snakes here. I just put reptiles on the ignore list. I assumed garder because it's the only native snake I know. I have a lot of reading to do.
    He was larger than most snakes I've seen. Dark brown blended very well against brown kelp. It was a sunny warm day and shallow water. But I would guess still slightly cold. Didn't seem to bother him. He was moving well and quickly when he chose.
    Cheers Jim
     
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  13. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Water snakes are actually kinda aggressive. They will bite and musk if handled. Believe it or not garder snakes have a neurotoxic venom though not dangerous to humans (they will musk however).
     
  14. TRYKER

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    to be honest i have never ever seen one with a fishing rod, AND how would they cast without arms, duh !!!
     
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  15. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Wow I never knew they had any kind of venom! I used to catch garder snakes every... single... day... as a kid, would bring them home by the handfuls. Been bit probably hundreds of times, good thing their venom is weak sauce :dblthumb:.

    I have never seen one eating a fish but they are almost always around bodies of water so I would imagine fish would be a good source of food for them.
     
  16. wvridgerunner

    wvridgerunner Scout

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    I would guess water snake also being it was brown. I bet the Weasle looking mammal was a Mink.
     
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  17. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    "Do garder snakes fish?'

    Yes, I have seen garter snakes with minnows and tadpoles in their mouths. But if the snake you seen was all brown, I was not a garter snake. @Woods Walker is probably right in his comment.
     
  18. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I remember a story where a child had a reaction form a bite and later died...it was a rare case but it lead to the study that found there was more to a garter snake bite than first thought. They can also store toxins in their flesh from the toads and newts they eat, making their own meat potentially toxic too! (food for thought if you happen to be in tough situation in the bush and need to eat one)
     
  19. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A couple of seasons ago Swampyankee 64 and I were doing some fishing in a retention pond for a cranberry bog. He wanted to try cooking up some fish we caught with primitive tackle so I had put a bass on a stringer and tied it off to a low hanging branch to keep the fish fresh. I noticed the branch was bobbing and figured the fish was a bit more alive than I had thought it was. I was going over to knock it’s head in when I saw one of the biggest water snakes I’ve ever seen trying to pull the bass off the stringer. That beast was close to three feet long and thicker than my forearm. They are not poisonous, but I’d imagine a snake of that size could deliver a significant bite.

    Locally garter snakes usually have colored stripes running the length of their body, even big ones. An all brown or dark colored snake most likely would be a water snake or a racer here in the east.
     

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