An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Northern Watersnake

Northern Watersnakes can be found in rivers, ponds and bogs throughout New England, except for northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  They spend time foraging both day and night for fish (61% of diet), frogs and toads (21%), salamanders (12%) as well as insects and crayfish at the water’s edge.  (Snake jaws can separate at both the front and back, allowing them to eat impossibly large prey , such as the  catfish in Chris Crowley’s photograph.) They also spend a great deal of time basking on rocks and overhanging branches.  Northern Watersnakes can be formidable looking – they can grow over four feet long – but while they can be aggressive if threatened, they are not poisonous.  Watersnakes give birth to up to 70 (typically 20-40) live young between August and early October.

4 responses

  1. Martha

    Please tell me you didn’t find that in the Upper Valley area…

    September 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    • You’re safe, Martha! It was in Lake Winnepausaukee, NH.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

  2. Victor Atkins

    Thank you very much for your messages. Just one question: on the Northern Water Snake did you mean venomous rather than poisonous or am I confused?

    September 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

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