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Snakes That Swim with Salmon

By Larry Pynn, 🕔Mon, Jan 30th, 2017


Snakes have a long-held reputation for being sneaky. And garter snakes on the Cowichan River in southeastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, have taken their slippery ways to new and surprising lengths.

Last spring, when Tim Kulchyski, a field biologist with the Cowichan Tribes, reached into a trap that allows researchers to count fish, he came out with a garter snake instead of the chinook and coho smolts he was expecting. And there wasn't just one. "I probably pulled out a dozen over three weeks," he says. "Some were pretty big. They were bloated—so healthy it was ridiculous."

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