There are many people that the presence of water snakes in Lake Erie has been the major contributor to the reduction of the number of fish in the lake. There are many others who believe that these reptiles do not interfere with the life of humans in the region.
The most important thing to understand is the flora and fauna that you will find in Lake Erie so that you can decide whether you are going to explore this area risk-free or not.
It is important to note that during the summer period, the heat wave becomes too much in the region and this results in many of the reptile species looking for places where they can cool down.
There have been numerous reports indicating that there are numerous water snakes in Lake Erie. These creatures are known to thrive in different habitats and you must take your time to know the areas where you are likely to find these species before you can explore the diversity of the lake.
Naturally, many people who explore outdoor water sports in the area have become defensive because there is a high chance that you can encounter some of these reptiles. This could be a major concern for your safety when exploring Lake Erie.
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Facts About Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake in North America’s five great lakes. It is a perfect location for watersports and other activities because you get to interact with different creatures as well as marvel at the nature.
The lake is home to some of the iconic fish species and other aquatic life. In the recent past, there have been concerns about swimming in the lake because of the number of snakes in the region.
The lake is the southernmost, smallest, and shallowest of the Great Lakes, as the deepest point in this lake is about 210 feet deep. It is located on the international boundary between the United States and Canada.
The northern shore of Lake Erie is in the Canadian province of Ontario. The states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan are on its western, eastern, and southern shores.
These are some of the unique features that dives the surface area of the lake into five boundaries and it is known to be home to one of the largest cities in the region, which is Cleveland. Lake Erie is located below Lake Huron and the main outflow from this lake is the Niagara River.
The river is a major source of energy for Canada as well as the United States.
Lake Erie’s environmental health has been something that has been on a review in recent studies and there are various problems that could affect the marine life in the region.
Some of the issues that affect the diversity in the lake include algal blooms, pollution, overfishing, and eutrophication.
Point Peele National Park is located in the southern part of the Canadian peninsula. There are over 30 islands around the lake and these are essential in the biodiversity.
The water in the lake usually varies depending on the seasons. During February and January, the water level is low, while July and June are the months with the highest water levels.
The lake was carved out by ice glaciers and over the years it has undergone tremendous changes. This has affected the flora and fauna greatly. The glaciers have carded more on the eastern side and here you will find softer rocks, which makes a perfect location where different species thrive.
Presence of Snakes in Lake Erie
Lake Erie is one of the top locations in North America where you can find an array of fauna and flora. It is a pristine destination where you are going to find species that thrive in the habitat.
When you are trying out the fun outdoor activities, some of the unique species that you are going to find in the region include diverse fish species, pelicans, seagulls, and snakes.
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Over the years, water snakes have coexisted with these unique species in Lake Erie and other creatures around the lake.
There have been reports that indicate that there have been a high number of water snakes that thrive in the watershed around the lake. The snakes around the lake play a critical role in the environment because they work well in balancing the ecosystem with the creatures that consume the smaller fish in the region.
Water Snakes in Lake Erie
There have been reports on numerous regions where there are a number of water snakes in Lake Erie. The garter snakes and water snakes are some of the most common species that you are going to find in the region.
You can find these snakes on the islands within the lake and the shorelines in the region. Here are some of the species that you are going to find at Lake Erie:
Lake Erie Watersnake
These are some of the most common species that you are going to find at Lake Erie. These snakes come in different colors and the most common colors are black, grey, and tan. They have yellow or white bellies. They are closer species to the northern water snakes.
These snakes usually vary in appearance and depending on the time that you are visiting the lake, you will find that the male snakes can grow up to 2 inches in length.
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These snakes are nonvenomous. While they are not dangerous to people, they usually consume different species, which could cause the transfer of dangerous bacteria to the victim.
Modern technology has been incorporated in the studies of the snakes in the region, such as infrared cameras and others have allowed for the studies of these water snake’s behaviors.
Western Ribbon Snake
The western ribbon snake is a species of the garter family. You can find various subspecies in different parts of the state. These snakes are nonvenomous.
Keeled scales, slender necks, and round pupils characterize these water snakes in Lake Erie. They come in a wide range of colors, from dark grey, tan, and dark brown. They are known to have the iconic three yellow stripes that run throughout their body.
The western ribbon snake can grow up to 30 inches long and they are some of the popular species in the region. These snakes consume a wide range of creatures, from frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, tadpoles, and fish.
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They usually prefer aquatic environments and you will find them closer to water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and ponds.
The saliva of these snakes usually has anticoagulant and this will become very difficult for the blood to clot and this could result in excessive bleeding.
Northern Water Snakes
The northern water snakes are some of the most common snakes that you are going to find on the shores of Lake Erie.
These reptiles usually come in various colors such as buff, tan, gray, and brown. The younger snakes will be more brightly colored than their adult counterparts.
You are likely to find these snakes in different parts of Lake Erie. These snakes can grow up to 4.5 feet long and they are nonvenomous.
However, they thrive in different parts of the eastern United States and they like aquatic habitats.
Here, they are usually known to hide under the vegetation along the shoreline because it allows them to regulate their body temperatures effectively.
These snakes heavily feed on amphibians and fish, and they can even consume other smaller snakes. Some of their common food include toads, frogs, tadpoles, newts, sunfish, minnows, bars, and bass. They usually come out during the spring to fall.
The milk snake is a species of the kingsnake family and they are known to inhabit a range of areas across Lake Erie. You can find these snakes in eastern Ontario, Canada, and around Lake Erie.
The milk snake is very versatile and you will find them thriving in different habitats. They usually prefer prairies, swamps, lakes, rivers, ponds, and pools.
You are likely to encounter these snakes during the summer period when they are very active. The milk snake can grow up to 2 inches long and they can be bulkier depending on the location.
It is characterized by its smooth and shiny scales and its body color pattern that alternates between white, black, red, and red, black yellow.
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There are red blotches in some species that you will find in different habitats, while others have a striking resemblance to the coral snakes. The snakes are nonvenomous; however, you should stay far away from them because they can turn out to be very dangerous.
They eat different creatures such as lizards, frogs, toads, newts, birds, and snakes. They are opportunistic creatures and they will mostly attack during the day or at night.
Eastern Garter Snake
The eastern garter snake is one of the unique water snakes in Lake Erie.
These snakes can grow up to 26 inches long, and the largest recorded in history was 49 inches long. The snakes usually come in different colors, such as tan, brown, black, and dark grey.
However, it is important to note that they usually have their unique white or yellow stripe on the body. They are oviparous species so they give birth to live young ones.
The eastern garter snake is distributed in different parts of North America, and especially in the North Midwest. You will find this snake thriving on the shores of Lake Erie.
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It prefers the areas where there is a lot of vegetation and there, they can easily regulate their temperatures, especially during the hot summer days. It is one of the most widespread snakes that you will find in the region.
The eastern garter snake thrives in different habitats, such as abandoned farmlands, shrubby fields, grassy fields, and along the lake shores.
They like areas that are closer to the water bodies and this will vary from swamps, bogs, lakes, rivers, streams, ditches, and quarries.
There have been cases where you can find snakes in an urban setting and they pose danger to humans because whenever they are threatened, they usually bite and this can lead to the transfer of harmful bacteria to the body of the victim.
The snakes usually eat a lot of creatures such as worms, slugs, frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts.
When they bite, their saliva has anticoagulants which result in the failure of the blood to clot.
The eastern copperhead snake is one of the most common water snakes that you can find in Lake Erie. It is a highly venomous snake that you should avoid by all means.
This snake is a member of the viper family and it can grow up to 37 inches in length. These snakes usually have different colors, such as dark brown, dark grey, and, in some cases, tan.
Their bodies are usually heavier in nature and you will find these snakes in different habitats around Lake Erie.