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15-May-2004 Ken McRae

Fish & Water snake

Palmerston Lake near Ompah

Ken's Notes on this sighting:
On May 15th, 2004 I was out fishing for Speckled Trout with a friend (Niel Barrington).
We had been into a small lake north of Ompah and had caught 6 nice sized trout.
No!!! I'm not giving out the name of "OUR" secret trout lake so don't bother asking.

On our way back to Ompah we were driving by the downstream end of Palmerston Lake,
on Arcol Road, when we noticed something breaking the surface of the water in the lake.
From the road it looked like the back of a large fish breaking the surface as it chased
after prey in the shallows near shore. We pulled over to investigate. We slowly walked
towards the action in the water. As we approached the shoreline we could see that a Perch,
about 8 inches long, and a water snake, about 3.5 feet long, were locked head to head.
We had never seen anything like this before. As best we could see it appeared that
the snakes head was in the mouth of the fish. It was the snake's long body slowly
thrashing about in the water that we had noticed breaking the surface of the water.
I quickly went back to the car to fetch the camera to capture this scene.

Seeing the snake's head inside the mouth of the Perch gave us the impression
that the fish was trying to eat the snake, but we think that impossible.
It strikes me that the only other plausible explanation is that the snake,
either unable to fit all of the fish into it's mouth or not wanting to come
into contact with the Perch's spiny dorsal fin, was trying to eat the fish
from the inside out. Niel was concerned that the two combatants would both die
if they remained in each others grip so he took a long branch and started pulling
the two towards shore. They came apart. The fish darted away into deeper water
and the snake make a beeline under the logs set into the shoreline.
If any of you have any knowledge to shed further light or confirmation as to
what was occurring here please share it. Thanks.

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Guest 08-Apr-2008 00:52
They caught the same prey--and each other, by surprise.
Guest 08-Apr-2008 00:52
They caught the same prey--and each other, by surprise.