Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Snakes alive (and booming) on Ohio lake shores

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio (AP) – Snake populations are
booming on the Lake Erie shores and islands in northwest Ohio, and
one expert says the reason is there’s plenty of food.

WEWS-TV reports it found large numbers of water snakes swimming
in the lake, sunning themselves on rocks and even slithering onto
boats in Ohio communities along the lake’s western end.

Ohio State University researcher Kristin Stanford tells the
Cleveland television station the snakes are northern water snakes
and Lake Erie water snakes, which are harmless. She says their
numbers are exploding because the lake is full of round goby fish,
an invasive species the snakes feed on.

Stanford says the islands are home to an estimated 12,000 Lake
Erie water snakes. She works out of Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory
field station on South Bass Island.

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