Is It a Water Moccasin?
"Is it a water moccasin?"
Many people ask this question when they see a snake in the water. Unfortunately, people often assume all snakes in the water are water moccasins and kill them "just in case."
Snakes are among the most misunderstood and mistreated animals on earth. Some species of snakes, including the water moccasin - also known as the cottonmounth - are venomous, and therefore potentially dangerous. However, of the 43 snake species native to Georgia and South Carolina, only six are venomous. Among the 37 harmless non-venomous snakes, five species of water snakes are often unfortunate victims of mistaken identity.
View the "Is It A Water Moccasin" brochure, produced with The University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. This brochure highlights the differences between water snakes (non-venomous) and water moccasins, with the hope that familiarity with these snakes will prevent further unnecessary killing of non-venomous snakes (which is illegal in Georgia) in Georgia and South Carolina.
DNR's "Venomous Snakes of Georgia" brochure is also available.
Report poaching and wildlife violations. You can receive a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest—even if you wish to remain anonymous.