Speaking of Hellbenders.....

jayr

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I didn't want to hijack the other thread regarding hellbenders, but thought some might be interested in this.

There are some streams in WNC that I have fished over the years and one in particular has a decent hellbender population. I have seen a few in my fishing trips there with some approaching 18-24 inches in length. They are amazing things to watch. While fishing this one particular stream I stumbled on an area that had around a dozen or so of these boxes anchored to the stream bed with stainless steel cables. This one box in the pic is missing its top, but is representative of the others. At the tapered end there is a hole that the hellbender accesses in order to give birth/raise their young. The box itself was made out of concrete and without the lid weighed at least 30 pounds or more. A high water event just prior to my taking this pic had removed the tops and disturbed a few.

(Ard, you may want to move this thread, it's as close to the topic hellbender.jpgsubject matter as I could figure)
 

okaloosa

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Hellbenders are canaries in the mine when it comes to trout.
Siltation is the number #1 cause of decreased population as well as dams, pesticides, and other chemicals that disrupt
their hormonal status. There once was a bounty on them as they were thought to reduce the trout population which is a myth.
I doubt there are any streams that support a population of hellbenders that wont support trout.
 

Joey Bagels

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I was listening to an interesting report on them the other day on the radio. They’re called “lasagna lizards” and “snot otters” among other things. Very cool little (big) critters! Thanks for posting your experience. I had no idea they hid little brood chambers for them!
 

Ard

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Hey Jay,

Seems fine where you stuck it to me. I haven't seen one for years but remember a very large one caught on a baited hook way back in the seventies by someone where I was night fishing. By large I figure it might have been 14" or so. In the years since that I only spied a couple and they were in the same large creek.
 

Southerncaster

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They're only in the upper far western corner of my state. I've watched for them at times when fishing in the mountains, but have never seen one in the wild.
 
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