Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

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James1617
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Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by James1617 » December 30th, 2012, 5:19 pm

I was just wondering what the lowest temp everyone has found any herps at....Last February I found 2 Dekay snakes under a rock while it was raining and it was about 52 degrees out.. Not that cold but it was pretty chilly.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Matt J » December 30th, 2012, 6:07 pm

Found red salamanders last January when it was 25*F. The water in the spring I found them in was 52*F though, so I doubt they care what the air temp was.

As for reptiles, I found a desert tortoise last spring at 8:30am when it was still in the low 40's. Also found a water snake in December a few years ago that was hanging out next to a mill pond two days in a row. Highs were in the low 50's and nighttime temps down in the 30's, this was the most docile (lol, lethargic really) Nerodia I've ever seen.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Zach_Lim » December 30th, 2012, 6:36 pm

In terms of snakes, a rubber boa under plastic tarp at an air temp of 45F and rain.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by ThatFrogGuy » December 30th, 2012, 6:42 pm

Eurycea cirrigera larvae in 30 F with snowfall. I could probably find them even colder, if I had any desire to.
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Owen
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Owen » December 30th, 2012, 7:11 pm

I vouchered some Coast Range Newts this month in a pond where the pond edge had ice extending out from one to two feet. The coldest air temp that I can recall is about 36 or 37 degrees, but it would be flipped herps.

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kyle loucks
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by kyle loucks » December 30th, 2012, 7:29 pm

15 degrees, Plethodon cinereus under a rock at a spring head.
Red, northern duskies, two-lineds in springs when the air temp was 25.
Coldest reptile was a basking northern brown snake at 54.

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Owen
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Owen » December 30th, 2012, 7:43 pm

kyle loucks wrote:15 degrees, Plethodon cinereus under a rock at a spring head.
Red, northern duskies, two-lineds in springs when the air temp was 25.
Coldest reptile was a basking northern brown snake at 54.
We don't EVER get that cold. WOW. I think I can recall temps around 26 degrees once... killed my lime tree. That said, our little Sharp-tailed Snakes like it cold. I temp. gunned these as 42 degrees the other day:

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=132713

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by gretzkyrh4 » December 30th, 2012, 7:56 pm

Not sure what my coldest reptile is, but this Eurycea cirrigera was flipped by ritt and I on a morning in the low 30s here in LA (night time low was 24 F).
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by SnakeDude » December 30th, 2012, 11:05 pm

Last year I flipped a wandering garter under my pumpkin from Halloween ( it was November and I was grabbing them to throw in the compost ). It was snowing lightly and about 5 degrees out, and it seemed as if the snake was just planning on spending the winter under a peice of rotting fruit (or veggie whatever pumpkins are :P ) I took the freezing little guy inside and warmed him up, then took him to a den under my deck where dozens of local thamnophis hibernate every year. By far the coldest herp story I have, and I still have no clue how the hell he survived a minor snowstorm under a rotting pumpkin :shock:

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Verhoodled » December 31st, 2012, 12:50 am

Coolest S. AZ reptile was a neonate gopher at 55F in Nov. 2011. Coolest reptile was in the DC area. I've raked up several N. Brown snakes in November in the low 50s. I don't intentionally rake the animals of course. Rather, I'd see their small coils spilling out of the leaves they'd taken refuge in.

The earliest herp I'd seen back east was an eastern garter (credit to my cat, a terribly proficent snake hunter), while patches of ice were still about. The earliest herp out west was a late February Cal. king this past year. The latest herp out west, a neonade atrox in my driveway on the eve of Black Friday. My kind of holiday shopping, frankly!

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by AndyO'Connor » December 31st, 2012, 5:41 am

I've found several amphibian species as others mentioned when the water edge was frozen, snow falling etc. but the water temps under the surface allowed activity.

I've seen a painted turtle swimming beneath the ice also.

As far as surface active reptiles, I found a rubber boa out on the crawl when the airtemp was in the mid 40s, and the snake was not flipped, but in the shade near some boards, I assume waiting for the sun to hit it to bask directly. In the shade, on the frosty ground, the temp directly surrounding the snake was 41.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by hellihooks » December 31st, 2012, 6:24 am

I flip these guys in the snow... does that count?
Desert night Lizard
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by hellihooks » December 31st, 2012, 6:27 am

No editing on FHF, to add pics :roll: so... here's another 'snow lizard'...
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Coluber Constrictor » December 31st, 2012, 7:52 am

I recently found some anoles under logs at 47 F. A few years back, I found some dusky salamanders at 40 F or lower, which is not too impressive, but it hit 19 F the night before.

If it's much colder than 45 or so, chances are I'm not gonna be outside anyway.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Natalie McNear » December 31st, 2012, 9:58 am

Any herp? Well a light frost is considered newsworthy here in the Bay Area, but I've road cruised Dicamptodon at 36F in rain and flipped other salamanders when temps were right around the freezing mark.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Mike VanValen » December 31st, 2012, 10:07 am

SnakeDude wrote:Last year I flipped a wandering garter under my pumpkin from Halloween ( it was November and I was grabbing them to throw in the compost ). It was snowing lightly and about 5 degrees out, and it seemed as if the snake was just planning on spending the winter under a peice of rotting fruit (or veggie whatever pumpkins are :P ) I took the freezing little guy inside and warmed him up, then took him to a den under my deck where dozens of local thamnophis hibernate every year. By far the coldest herp story I have, and I still have no clue how the hell he survived a minor snowstorm under a rotting pumpkin :shock:

Ian
That's a pretty interesting observation. The pumpkin produces heat as it rots so the snake was probably attracted to that heat. Considering the single digit temps that snake wouldn't have lasted much longer as the pumpkin began to freeze.

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Andrew G
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Andrew G » December 31st, 2012, 11:07 am

I flipped a Great Plains rat snake last year at 43 degrees. I am sure amphibians could be found at much colder temperatures.

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kyle loucks
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by kyle loucks » December 31st, 2012, 1:21 pm

Owen wrote:
kyle loucks wrote:15 degrees, Plethodon cinereus under a rock at a spring head.
Red, northern duskies, two-lineds in springs when the air temp was 25.
Coldest reptile was a basking northern brown snake at 54.
We don't EVER get that cold. WOW. I think I can recall temps around 26 degrees once... killed my lime tree. That said, our little Sharp-tailed Snakes like it cold. I temp. gunned these as 42 degrees the other day:

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=132713

The problem with flipping a terrestrial herp under those conditions is that I broke whatever barrier there was to the frigid air. It was a baby that no doubt perished because of my flipping urges. No way to seal that little guy back up the way it was.

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=37344


I literally ran back to my car cause it was so freakin cold.

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Cole Grover
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Cole Grover » December 31st, 2012, 1:39 pm

Ambystoma mavortium. Five animals found in a well vault. 12 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface, though considerably colder with the wind chill. Temperature inside the well vault was probably hovering around freezing.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by TimCO » December 31st, 2012, 1:44 pm

Not the coldest but a cool observation -

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=33571

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kyle loucks
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by kyle loucks » December 31st, 2012, 2:22 pm

No matter what the air temp, springs maintain an even temp year round near the source.

25 degrees this day.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by muskiemagnet » December 31st, 2012, 2:54 pm

0 degrees. i got tripped by a snow snake while skiing, at least that is what my dad told me. they are elusive. i always try to find them afterwards, but no go.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by BDSkinner » December 31st, 2012, 3:51 pm

This was several years back, air temp well below freezing. One of those nice, sunny and bitterly cold days.

Image
Image

Eurycea wilderae was among one of the few species I found that day. If you can flip a rock on the stream bank here, you can find a salamander, any time.


-Brad

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Owen
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Owen » December 31st, 2012, 5:30 pm

OK, not real cold, but for Bay Area CA, yeah. I flipped a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake today at 4:09 PST... 43 degrees out, but I didn't check the temp under the 4x8 post. There was still some ice on the trail in the shaded areas.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by hellihooks » December 31st, 2012, 6:01 pm

Owen wrote:OK, not real cold, but for Bay Area CA, yeah. I flipped a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake today at 4:09 PST... 43 degrees out, but I didn't check the temp under the 4x8 post. There was still some ice on the trail in the shaded areas.
Now THAT MIGHT BE the last Ca. snake of the year, Owen. Ah nude ya cud dew it... :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Mr.Talltree » December 31st, 2012, 6:20 pm

Found a Sharp-tailed snake last Thursday at around 45 degrees.
Luke-

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Mr.Talltree » December 31st, 2012, 6:24 pm

Owen wrote:OK, not real cold, but for Bay Area CA, yeah. I flipped a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake today at 4:09 PST... 43 degrees out, but I didn't check the temp under the 4x8 post. There was still some ice on the trail in the shaded areas.
That's definitely the last one of the year! Congrats! I caught a lifer Rubber boa in Marin today around 12pm, nothing after that.

That's one cold rattler :mrgreen:
Luke-

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by VanAR » December 31st, 2012, 6:30 pm

Caught a speckled kingsnake at 38 degrees F once, and also saw a few salamanders.

For my current research I often catch tussock skinks while there's still patches of snow on the ground, and the temps range from below freezing in the early morning to the upper teens C (mid-50s F) in the afternoon. Blue tongues and highlands copperheads are also active at those temperature ranges.

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Owen
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Owen » December 31st, 2012, 6:41 pm

Mr.Talltree wrote:
Owen wrote:OK, not real cold, but for Bay Area CA, yeah. I flipped a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake today at 4:09 PST... 43 degrees out, but I didn't check the temp under the 4x8 post. There was still some ice on the trail in the shaded areas.
That's definitely the last one of the year! Congrats! I caught a lifer Rubber boa in Marin today around 12pm, nothing after that.

That's one cold rattler :mrgreen:
Luke-
I added the picture as an edit to Robert's 'Last Snake of the Year' post in CA Chapter. My wife wanted to hike yesterday and today, so I managed a CA King Yesterday afternoon and the NorPac today! Congrats on the lifer boa... I have yet to find one :cry: , but I'm trying to hold out for a Santa Clara Co. one.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Fundad » December 31st, 2012, 7:35 pm

Top of board
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Under board
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Fundad

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Fundad » December 31st, 2012, 7:38 pm

Gator lizard is on the right of picture
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Fundad

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by cbernz » January 1st, 2013, 12:12 pm

On a January day a few years ago, some friends and I put on neoprene gloves and dipnetted salamanders in a stream in about 17 degrees (of course the water was probably upper 40's or low 50's). We tried not to take the salamanders fully out of the water though, because our nets froze solid about 15 seconds out of the water. Blue-spotted Salamanders in my area will migrate to breeding ponds in very cold weather, and I have seen them migrate at 33 degrees when the rains are good.

The coldest reptile I've found was probably a scarlet king road-cruised in South Carolina on a 50 degree night after we had all but given up for the evening (nearly ran it over). The most interesting snake I've found, though, was definitely the garter sunning itself one snow-covered Christmas Day in northern MA. It was coiled up in the little melted area at the base of my grandfather's peach tree. There was probably 8-10 inches of snow on the ground, but I think the air temp was closer to 60.

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Chris Smith
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Chris Smith » January 1st, 2013, 12:14 pm

Mid 30s F for me... You can catch Mudpuppies through the ice at any temp though...

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-Chris

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Owen
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Owen » January 1st, 2013, 6:03 pm

Today was the coldest day that I've gone out. It was 27F at 7:45A when I parked my car. I flipped a Sharp-tailed Snake under a small log at 8:11A that I temp. gunned at 38F, but the gun started to ERR. I got readings as low as 8F pointing at exposed icy objects, but I'm sure that couldn't be correct.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by atheris978 » January 9th, 2013, 8:26 pm

Many years ago. Yearling Florida Kingsnake found around midnight crossing the road in the Everglades. Temp right about 60 degrees !!!!

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Don Becker » January 10th, 2013, 6:06 am

Like many others have already said, amphibians can be found when it is very cold out. I have found DeKay's Snakes out basking in the sun at their dens when it was only 35F though.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by ZantiMissKnit » January 10th, 2013, 7:11 am

Roughly 37 degrees on December 22, Eurcyea bislineata (larvae and one adult) in a stream and about a half dozen Plethodon cinereus under rocks.

There were also a couple of young Lithobates palustris under a rock in a cold stream, but they're hibernating and I prefer to leave them alone.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Wayne_MO » January 15th, 2013, 6:40 am

I do a fair amount of looking in cold weather as I have found some reliable dens in Missouri that seem to produce any time of year as long as there is some sun and the temps are at least 40 degrees...and they even produce in sometimes cooler than 40 degree weather. I've found a dozen or more snakes in temperatures in the 30s and over 100 in temperatures between 40 and 49 degrees. That is the official air temperature for humans. The South facing slopes with dens that I find them on in cold weather have dark rocks and get a lot of sun so the temperature at snake level is probably several degrees warmer. The coldest temperature I have found a snake at was 32 degrees (a garter snake), but the most interesting was finding a Prairie Ringneck Snake in December on a street at 37 degrees with 30 mile per hour winds gusting to 40 miles per hour and a windchill of about 8 degrees above zero. I was walking along the road bundled in a parka with mittens on and noticed the snake and assumed it was dead. I picked it up and after it was in my hands for a while it started to warm up and move around. I took it off the street and onto the rock bluff near the street and put it next to a crack in the bluff and it crawled right in. I assume the crack was its den since I have seen snakes come out of that crack in the spring. On days above 40 degrees in December and January I find snakes in good numbers (half a dozen or more) when I go out looking for them. I found 4 Water Snakes and a Racer on January 11th this year in mid-Missouri. which is pretty standard for a January outing (though usually I see more garter snakes and fewer water snakes). The snake I found when it was 32 degrees was a day I actually went out looking for them. The Ringneck Snake, however, was on a day I was not actively looking for them.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Fundad » January 15th, 2013, 8:32 am

Image

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partly cloudy with snow flurries off and on
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Fundad

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Cole Grover
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Cole Grover » January 15th, 2013, 8:45 am

Fundad wrote:partly cloudy with snow flurries off and on
Surprisingly, I'm not surprised! Tricolors are tough. That's a nice looking animal, Brian. I'm going to guess Kansas, but suspect it's from further west...

-Cole

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Fundad » January 15th, 2013, 10:20 am

New Mexico.. :D

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Cole Grover » January 15th, 2013, 11:30 am

Awesome. The shape of the bands and the black cross-over weren't typical "Kansas" and indicated a SW critter.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Don Becker » January 15th, 2013, 11:58 am

Brian, do you know what the temperatures were on the days prior to finding those snakes? Was it warm leading up to a sudden drop in temperature, or was there a prolonged cold period?

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by reptilist » January 15th, 2013, 12:15 pm

Christmas morning, 1990. 4'+ Western Diamondback slowly crossing a road about 4 am, near Safford, AZ.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by leslie smith » January 15th, 2013, 4:45 pm

I have collected one timber one cottonmouth ,speckled king, ringneck ,and a handful of earth snakes. There was about four inches of snow on the ground. Interesting to note that the kingsnake was in side of a metal pipe about two feet long and about as big around as a golf ball, the pipe was sticking out of the snow. I took the pipe home and after it warmed up it crawled out.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Brian Hubbs » January 15th, 2013, 7:52 pm

My family and I found 18 rubber boas one day while it was lightly snowing. It had been in the 60s the day before and they just stayed under the AC during the cold weather. Probably mid-30s. We showed up to the spot in tee shirts and jeans, expecting nice temps...and had to cut up an old bedspread in the back of the car and make ponchos. It was frickin' cold...

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by dery » January 17th, 2013, 2:31 pm

If skeletons count, then the slider shells today when it was snowing in the 30's, if not, then last winter when it was equally cold but not snowing.

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Don Becker
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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Don Becker » January 17th, 2013, 6:04 pm

I have a book around here somewhere called Tales From a River Rat, and another called The Last River Rat, both by a guy named Kenny Salwey (Great guy, I got to meet him in person). He talks about his life in SW Wisconsin, and living off the land. He used to go out and poke around under the ice in winter, and dig up snapping turtles to eat. He never mentioned temperatures, but I imagine if the water and mud isn't frozen solid, you may be able to turn up some turtles this way. Anyone else ever done it?

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by sitarshaman » January 17th, 2013, 8:37 pm

found some rubber boas at about 28-34 degrees F. was in the Sierras east of Fresno....early March. found two under a large piece of rubber mat...which was giving them warmth. 3:00 am. was the coldest part of the night. Air temps were in the 20's ....under their shelter...a little warmer from the compost.

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Re: Coldest day you have ever found a herp?

Post by Matt.O » January 21st, 2013, 8:28 am

Here at my work near St. Louis MO, I routinely see Eastern Snapping turtles on our main refuge lake swimming under the ice on sunny days and have seen painteds on a few occasions. In the last few years I have been called out twice to remove a snake that was on top of snow. Both were in late january and both were Prairie Kingsnakes. Snow cover was probably 6 inches or less and temps under 40. Both had some mud on them and the first one you could see where he came up through the snow and then crawled a few feet before he coiled up on top of the snow. Ill have to go through my notes and pics for exact details.

Matt

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