Spring surge of snakes impacting local fisheries

CASH, AR (KAIT) - The fish farm industry is booming thanks to warm temperatures and last year's drought that baked many southeastern states.

But, those slithery serpents have made a resurgence in Region 8.

The mild winter and warm spring have caused snakes to wake from hibernation a few weeks early.
Sonya Coleman is none too happy with their return, since fish are part of the snake's diet.
"We've got so many that they're multiplying. You know, they're just doubling up on us."

Sonja says poisonous cotton mouths and copperheads are thriving along the ditches and within the 700 acres of Denton Fish ponds.

"Usually, we don't start seeing them until the last part of April. But we started seeing them, I guess about two weeks ago."

Sonja adds that the snake population is unusually high, so Denton Fish has one specialist whose primary job is to keep snakes away from the cash crop.

"They kill them or we put out moth balls to try and keep them away."

But safety becomes an issue as one good bite could have you in hot water.

"It's just a little scary, especially early in the morning time and you run up on one. And it's there."

For tips on how to identify and avoid venomous snakes, click here.

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