Water snake in wetlands.

The Most Snake Infested Lakes in Louisiana

Louisiana is a state renowned for its rich history, good food, and culture. While these are all great aspects of the state, the natural scenery of Louisiana is often underrated. The magnificent terrain, combined with the gorgeous weather, makes Louisiana one of the best states for snakes to thrive in. Louisiana is home to a variety of snakes, including rattlesnakes, pit vipers, and water snakes. An unexpected spot for most people to find snakes is waterbodies. There are several beautiful natural and man-made lakes in Louisiana with an abundance of snakes. Explore some of the state's most snake infested lakes.

Lake Pontchartrain

A bayou located in Slidell, Louisiana north shore of Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans
A bayou located in Slidell, Louisiana north shore of Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans.

One of the most snake infested lakes in Louisiana is Lake Pontchartrain. The massive body of water covers 630 square miles, extending 24 miles south to north. Technically, lake Pontchartrain is an estuary with several bayous and rivers flowing into it. Mostly freshwater, the lake draws in a variety of snakes. Some common ones in the area include the ball python, brahminy blindsnake, pygymy rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, glossy swampsnake, eastern copperhead, gray ratsnake, western ratsnake, scarlet snake, and mudsnake.

The common water snake, is one of the most abundant water snakes and is also found in the lake. The environment of Lake Pontchartrain provides a great food source for the snakes. The diet of the snakes includes fish, frogs, small reptiles, small mammals, rodents, and invertebrates.

Lake Maurepas

Sunset On Lake Maurepas, Louisiana
Sunset on Lake Maurepas, Louisiana.

Another large snake filled lake in Louisiana is Lake Maurepas. The lake spans over 15,000 acres and is a remote area. This makes the lake a picturesque spot, with its tupelo and cypress swamp. Nearby freshwater bodies, including the Amite, Blind, Natalbany, and Tickfaw Rivers feed into the lake. The undisturbed surroundings and local wildlife make for a great spot for snakes. There are more than 18 different types of snakes found in the lake. A few include, the ball python, gray ratsnake, glossy swampsnake, and mudsnake.

Calcasieu Lake

The Calcasieu River at Cameron, Louisiana, seen from the car ferry, Acadia.
The Calcasieu River at Cameron, Louisiana.

Calcasieu Lake sits on the Louisiana-Texas border. Like Lake Maurepas, Calcasieu Lake also has a serene natural surrounding, with plenty of marsh. Located on the Chenier Coastal Plain, there are a variety of animal that thrive in marsh habitat. These include Gulf Menhaden, shrimp, and waterfowl. These are a good food source of snakes. Around 26 different types of snakes call Calcasieu Lake home. These include the eastern copperhead, timber rattlesnake, northern cottonmouth, Texas coral snake, and glossy swamp snake.

Lake Claiborne

Beautiful view of Lake Claiborne State Park, in Homer, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana
Beautiful view of Lake Claiborne State Park, in Homer, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.

Another lake with around 26 different types of snakes is Lake Claiborne.  A unique feature of Lake Claiborne is that it is a man-made lake, covering 6,400 acres. The surrounding area is rural and a popular place for fishing. Some of the snake species you can expect to find here include Graham’s crayfish snake, diamondback water snake, rough earthsnake, flat-headed snake, Texas coral snake, and the pygmy rattlesnake. The Texas coral snake is a venomous snake, recognizable because of it's unique red, yellow, black stripe pattern.

Honorable Mentions

An open path of water through lily pads and cypress trees on Caddo Lake on border of Louisiana and Texas.
Lily pads and cypress trees on Caddo Lake.

While the lakes listed above are some of the most snake infested, there are other lakes in Louisiana with snakes. These are great spots to visit and have beautiful scenery. One of the most popular is Caddo Lake.

Caddo Lake also sits on the Louisiana-Texas border. The lake covers 25,400 acres and is the largest freshwater lake in the South. Around the lake there is a beautiful cypress forest habitat. This is the largest Cypress forest in the world. Caddo Lake is internationally protected because of the wetlands around the lake. Considering the beautiful scenery, it is no wonder the lake hosts several recreational activities. Since there is more human activity on this lake, there are fewer snakes. There are three snake species in total in the lake, including the North American racer, western ratsnake, and northern cottonmouth.

Another popular lake for recreation is Lake D'Arbonne. While not as snake infested as other lakes in the state, the lake is home to a few snake species, including speckled kingsnake, banded water snake, northern cottonmouth, and eastern copperhead. Lake D'Arbonne covers 15,280 acres, and has a state park around it. Camping, fishing, and hiking are popular activities around the lake.

Visiting Louisiana

The lakes listed here are the most snake-infested in Louisiana. While the thought of snakes might deter some people from visiting the state, don't let this stop you from taking a road trip. Remember, snakes don't attack people unless they feel threatened. This is particularly true for common water snakes, which are non-venomous.  If you stay respectful of a snake's space, they will also be respectful of yours.


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