General Question

meagan's avatar

Are there a lot of snakes in lakes?

Asked by meagan (4640 points ) June 2nd, 2010

Is it common for snakes to be in the water? I’m a little paranoid about getting a snake bite from a lake. Especially at night.

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25 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

It just depends on where you are. I have been in a lot of lakes and have never been bitten by a snake. Most snakes will only attack when they feel threatened.

gailcalled's avatar

Depends on the lake, and how low the tree branches are drooping.

CMaz's avatar

Here is south Florida. Some lakes are full of them.

As mentioned above. Depends on the location of the lake.

meagan's avatar

I think you guys just killed a fun outdoor activity for me. hahaha

perspicacious's avatar

In the SE USA, you bet there are. They are mostly around the edges where the rocks are. But they do swim out into the lake as well. I’m talking about cottonmouth water moccasins—you don’t want to have an encounter with one. And when you are on the bank, you have to watch for rattlers. Lakes are a blast around here!!

Trillian's avatar

I grew up on Lake Huron and I never once saw a snake. In the Thunder Bay river there were a few snapping turtles, but you had to go out of your way to get them riled up.

rebbel's avatar

In 2000, me and my (then) girlfriend visited a small waterfall somewhere in Greece.
There wasn’t much water falling, so i decided to climb the fall (there was a rope hanging from the top) just like a fourteen (about) year old boy was doing before me.
We had to swim through the little lake that was down of the fall, to get there.
It was so freakin cold that my bones hurt, but in the end i got to the rope and succeeded the climb, only to hear after i did it that there were snakes in the lake….
Still gives me shivers.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I see them often enough.They will usually try to avoid people.

Val123's avatar

Yep. But they’re more scared of you than you are of them. Most of the time, anyway!

gailcalled's avatar

Here in mid-state eastern rural NYS, everyone mows a broad strip around their swimming ponds because of the snapping turtles. The only snakes here are garter snakes, except in some rocky crags in the Adirondacks where there may be rattlers.

missingbite's avatar

The chances of you getting a snake bite in a fresh water lake are next to none. Snakes just don’t attack in the water. You would have to swim into one and grab it for it to attack. It will just swim away from water movement. Enjoy the lake.

Rarebear's avatar

You won’t get bitten. Don’t worry about it.

Ranimi23's avatar

Hmm… I don’t want to know the real answer :-/

perspicacious's avatar

@missingbite @Rarebear Cottonmouths are highly poisonous. It’s true they do not usually attack. I saw one swim between someone’s legs once. I know a guy who was on a tube behind a boat and when he dropped off he ran into a cottonmouth and was bitten on the leg. They usually swim on top of the water and when you are in the water you don’t see them easily. It’s good to know they spend more time out of the water in the hottest time of the day; they bask to maintain their body temp. I don’t know where meagan is located so moccasins may not be a problem where she lives.

missingbite's avatar

@perspicacious I live in Louisiana and have all my life. I have caught or killed hundreds of moccasins since I was a little boy. You are correct in that they are poisonous. We agree that they usually won’t attack unless, like your friend, you are dropped off on top of one. Cottonmouths avoid people like the plague. I once had one fall out of a tree into my boat and I couldn’t catch it because it wanted out so bad. Meagan should not avoid a lake for fear of snakes. If she (or he?) wants a reason to avoid lakes, it’s more likely to have a boating accident because of alcohol than being bitten by a snake.

Rattlesnakes on our property in AZ is a different story, but they don’t really hang around in the water.

Rarebear's avatar

@perspicacious The chance that she’ll get hit by a car walking across her street is much more statistically likely than being bit by a Cottonmouth. Especially at night.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

@missingbite and @perspicacious : Water moccasins are not poisonous. Rather, they are venomous. sorry

Jabe73's avatar

Snakes won’t just bite you without reason, they are more afraid of you than you are of them. I’ve been swimming/fishing/boating in lakes, farm ponds, streams and rivers for nearly 30 years and I have never been bitten by any snake. I would worry more about the pesky bugs that fly around and bite you.

missingbite's avatar

@Sueanne_Tremendous You are right that the correct term is venomous. I use the word poisonous loosely because some people try to differentiate between poisonous and venomous. While technically different, more people will think death with poisonous and only painful with venomous. (Fire ants are venomous but not deadly unless allergic) Water moccasins can be deadly if you are bitten and not treated quickly.

Trillian's avatar

Poison is ingested, venom is injected.

skfinkel's avatar

Funny, this is something I never even considered, and I have a little house on a lake. However, last summer we saw cute little otters in the water, and took pictures of them and all, and then one of them bit my friend—so you never know.

sreejaa's avatar

Ya there may be ..
It depend upon the area…

Grandma's avatar

Thanks for the information. Do you know what types of snakes would be in small lakes in Putnam and Dutchess County in New York? We swim there and the children ask if they are dangerous. Thanks, Grandma

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