Snake Dangers & River Tubing

Is Every Snake Poisonous?

If you see every snake in the US as a potential killer, you’d best confine your tubing adventures to a swimming pool!

Snakes tend to hang out in warm waters; however, they tend to be mostly non-poisonous.*

Suggestions to limit your meeting these “fanged foe.”

  • Don’t bother or tease snakes,
  • Go around snakes, avoiding them where possible.
  • Stay out of shallow water as much as possible
  • Stay away from banks in thick, wooded areas

4 Poisonous Snakes in America

Cottonmouth Water Moccasin Snake — This is the only poisonous American water snake; usually found in southeast parts of the US.

According to Wikipedia, Cottonmouths are ” the world’s only semi-aquatic viper, usually found in or near water, particularly in slow-moving and shallow lakes and streams.”


Cottonmouth - olive, black, brown skin with fangs he's eager to show off!

Cottonmouth - olive, black, brown skin with fangs he's eager to show off!


Most snakes are as afraid of you as you are of them. Not so with the cottonmouth!  He usually stands his ground and even likes to show the white lining of his mouth — just so you know who should run first!

Being bitten by a cottonmouth is going to ruin your day, believe me.   You can avoid this meanie by staying in the middle of rivers and by avoiding banks with shallow water.


Diamond-backed with an Evil Eye!

Diamond-backed with an Evil Eye!

Rattlesnakes — These snakes are available from Canada to Mexico.  They provide more trips to the hospital and unplanned deaths than any other American snake!

Fortunately, they give an intruder advanced warning of their strike — with the rattling sound.

The Eastern Diamondback has more venom in a single bite than any other snake. Caution!


Copperheads have no sense of humor!

Copperheads have no sense of humor!


Copperheads – This snakes venom is potentially lethal. Need I say more?  Oddly enough, he is copper colored!


Coral Snake – Absolutely lethal! Remember the rhyme, “Red and yellow kill a fellow …..”  Watch for the banded yellow, black and red snake.  Others, with similar bands (but not in this order) are non-lethal.


'Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow ...'

'Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow ...'

The good news is that this snake is not looking to cause trouble.


  • Become familiar with the 4 poisonous snakes,
  • Take a snake-bite kit
  • Use it — if needed and
  • Get the victim to a hospital ASAP.

* I used to think that non-poisonous snakes did not bite and poisonous snakes would. That is incorrect; any snake can — and will — bite, if provoked. The venom in non-poisonous snakes just won’t kill you!


All snake photos are courtesy of Wikipedia!


This blog is a companion to my website:


  1. […] For More Info About the 4 Venomous Types of North America: see Snake Dangers & River Tubing […]

  2. Though bordering on the typical theatrics of your average “killers” style episode on the Animal Planet, your post was mostly accurate. That said, snake bite kits should NEVER be used. Studies show that they almost always do more harm than good, and when you consider that components in some venoms are anti-coagulants, cutting one’s flesh after a snake bite is a very bad idea.

    What should one do after a snake bite? Seek immediate medical attention!

    Snake Buddies

  3. Dear Snake Buddies,

    Thanks so very much for your insights on snake bites and kits. Frankly, I was floored by your comment. Everything I read says the opposite. However, most of my info is from books & they may be several years old.

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your expertise!

    Best wishes,

  4. 20 years ago, you could hardly find a Boy Scout without a snake bite kit. It was a common practice to incise the skin at the site of the bite and apply the suction cup to the area.

    Medical procedures obviously change over time. If you find anything published within the last 5 to 10 years, you will find all sorts of new information regarding the dangers of snake bite kits. They will soon become collectors items.

    Thanks again!


  5. […] Place: ‘Snake Dangers & River Tubing‘ – There is considerable interest in snakes now (probably because of all the problems […]

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