BWCA Snakes Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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05/01/2024 09:32PM  
The only two breeds of snakes I have seen in the BW are a common garden snake and a brown snake of some sort. Neither are poisonous.

My question is how close to the BW are such snakes as a rattler or copperhead? The last I heard was around 250 to 300 miles as the limit of these two to successfully winter north of that and therefore do not exist well north of that elusive line. Has the effect of weather change if any had an impact on that number? Is the possibility of poison snakes in the BW on the horizon?
 
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05/01/2024 10:33PM  
Closest I've seen rattlesnakes is along the Mississippi River south of the Cities....I think you're pretty safe.
 
MidwestMan
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05/02/2024 07:55AM  
Doubt they'll ever get up there. Never say never but seems very unlikely.
 
JackpineJim
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05/02/2024 10:51AM  
Was up in the Q on Kahshahpiwi last week and saw a garter snake swimming across a channel not 100 yards from a large ice flow. I was as surprised to see him as he was to see me :)
 
GunflintTrailAngler
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05/02/2024 11:27AM  
No copperheads within over 600 miles of the BWCA. Timber rattlesnakes live in southeast MN, and aren’t very common. Garter snakes are about the only thing you’ll encounter.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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05/02/2024 12:32PM  
Chances of being killed by a Garter snake are low, but never zero.... watch your back!
 
KawnipiKid
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05/02/2024 01:47PM  
bwcadan: "The only two breeds of snakes I have seen in the BW are a common garden snake and a brown snake of some sort. Neither are poisonous.


The brown snake you saw is a red-bellied snake. I think those are the only two found in MN canoe country pending climate change or until somebody brings their emotional support snake on a trip.
 
05/02/2024 02:20PM  
There are no venomous snakes in northern MN. Southeastern MN has rattlesnakes because of the cave system that wasn't plowed over by glaciers thousands of years ago. Without those underground caves, rattlesnakes would not survive a Minnesota winter.

Red-Bellied snakes are not venomous. From just a quick google search you might confuse them with the red-bellied black snake from Australia, which is venomous. The red-bellied snake in the US is tiny and harmless though.
 
Jackfish
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05/02/2024 02:27PM  
KawnipiKid: "...or until somebody brings their emotional support snake on a trip."

LOLOL... that's pretty funny. :)
 
05/02/2024 02:59PM  
But be very careful of garter snakes if you're a toad! Taken on Lake Polly.
 
05/02/2024 06:25PM  
It's unlikely that you would see one in BWCA but northern Minnesota also has a green grass snake. Those are also harmless and very hard to see in grass.
 
05/02/2024 07:30PM  
This rattlesnake got caught in a mouse trap I set on our back porch a few years ago. In Calif.
 
gravelroad
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05/02/2024 09:17PM  
When someone starts advertising snake-proof portage footwear, that’s when I’ll put in on the River Styx. :-)

In other words, ain’t never gonna be no need, nohow. Unless this continues, perhaps:

Something Was Messing With Earth’s Axis. The Answer Has to Do With Us.
 
Jackfish
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05/05/2024 12:56AM  
Sorry, I couldn’t resist… Snakes? I don’t know no snakes.
 
05/06/2024 03:01PM  
Massasauga rattle snakes are common around Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) in Ontario. They sound like two dragonflies fighting in the air only you can tell that's not what it is. Then you realize one of these puppies is close by.

I took this photo about five years ago in French River PP. I tossed my lip balm in the photo for scale.

 
05/07/2024 10:13AM  
ghamer: "But be very careful of garter snakes if you're a toad! Taken on Lake Polly.
"

Saw one catch a frog once. The frog let out a terrifying scream that I did not know they could do. Really loud and scary.
 
05/08/2024 12:20PM  
ghamer: "But be very careful of garter snakes if you're a toad! Taken on Lake Polly.
"


Several years ago. I witnessed this event also. well over 30 minutes to complete the mission of consuming the toad.
 
05/08/2024 02:16PM  
A healthy population of Timber Rattlesnake at Devil's Lake in WI. Not really connected to the general range of the species.
 
05/13/2024 03:24AM  
ghamer: "But be very careful of garter snakes if you're a toad! Taken on Lake Polly.
"


So cool. Thanks for sharing.
 
MidwestMan
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05/13/2024 08:59AM  
I left my phone at home yesterday while we had a family gathering at a state park in Illinois for Mother's Day... but (for once) I wish I would have brought it to capture a snake trying to eat a fairly large (and alive) catfish. First time seeing a snake trying to eat a live fish for all of us. The snake was locked on the midsection of the fish for the entire time that we were there (about 2 and 1/2 hours) and the fish was still breathing for that entire duration.
 
05/13/2024 11:42AM  
Unlike some large mammals or small, pathogen carrying insects which can move considerable distances, I don’t think rattle snakes are know for moving any great distance. I doubt they would move far from their tiny zone in SE Minnesota any theme soon. They are already rare in this state, and it’s unlikely anyone would see one unless looking for it in the right habitat. I suspect a fair number of people who think they see one are actually seeing hognose snakes or western fox snakes. The fox snake in the photo below was on a bike path neat Ft Snelling, and even curled up and rattled its tail at me imitating a rattle snake before crawling off into the brush.

 
05/15/2024 03:02PM  
Just had a rattler in my camp…

 
05/16/2024 02:10PM  
out west I see a Gartner snake same color as a rattler. I keep trying to remember if I saw the in the BWCA?
 
Bromel
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05/20/2024 01:37PM  
No copperheads in Minnesota. Rattlers are found only in Southeast corner of the state.
 
LukeMacGillie37
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05/21/2024 02:40PM  


Last summer, a visitor to our camp. It crawled thru our tent. Daughter came and told me as calm as can be, “there is a snake in the tent.”
 
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