Brown Water Snakes

Brown Water Snake, Glascock County, Georgia


Brown Water Snakes are very common in Georgia and South Carolina.  This snake is not aggressive and is usually quick to dart away if confronted.  It is almost universally regarded as a “moccasin,” and for that reason is quite often shot or killed.  This snake is very beneficial in terms of controlling rodents, frogs, and other amphibians.  This particular snake was basking on floating debris in Glascock County, Georgia on Rocky Comfort Creek.  This snake was not large by Brown Water Snake standards but was still probably about 4 feet long.

Tice Brashear


About Tice Brashear

Tice Brashear is the President of Brashear Realty Corporation. He is a licensed real estate broker and has over 37 years experience in selling land, farms, acreage, commercial and investment properties. He is a past President of the Georgia Association of Realtors and a past President of the Augusta Board of Realtors.
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4 Responses to Brown Water Snakes

  1. Please help me identify the beautiful snake I encounter I had yesterday. He/she was about 3 to 6 feet long, thinish, (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in circum.) very dark brown, possibly black, with dark eyes. It’s tail was out of sight, so I couldn’t say what it looked like. The first two feet of her was standing upright, very regal as if she was watching the pool. I had just finished my swim, and there was no other people in our pool. She was watching our community pool (Buckhead in Richmond Hill, GA) in an upright position. She was on a berm under pine needles and bushes, but very out in open and looking around. I almost walked right by her on my way to the shower under the tree on the brim she was on. She eyed me by turning her head at me, as if to say “Hello, there, you may want to use pool shower under the tree, but this is my home you know.” I went back to my chair to retrieve my goggles, and walked again over to the shower tree, but she did not move away. I decided to exit the pool without taking my rinse off shower. This is my first encounter with a snake as blackish and pretty as she, and one especially as proud being upright and showing off her graceful neck and agile head. The vibe I got from her was that she was friendly, not shy, and wanted me to know that she’s been watching me swim for several weeks now. During the school day, no one is around the pool except for me doing my laps. My husband thinks that a snake that is upright like that is in attack mode, but I didn’t pick up on that, just that I needed to be respectful of her space. I’ll take a camera with me today for my swim and see if she comes back to say hello. Any ideas what she/he could be and why she was upright and not afraid of me? Thanks so much. Silver Moon

  2. Dear Silver Moon,

    It is impossible to give you a definitive answer, but I will give you possibilities. A coachwhip is notorious for standing upright. He has a black head but he generally changes colors to light brown by the time you get to his tail. He is generally a slender snake. Another possibility is a black racer. The tend to be very slender snakes and all black except a small white patch below their chin. It could also be a black rat snake. This snake is not quite as thin and has an almost indiscernable pattern near his stomach. All three of these snakes are very common in Georgia and could have found their way into your back yard. None of these are venomous and none are aggressive.

    Hope this helps and let me know if you get a picture.


  3. Michelle says:

    Most people think this snake is a Cottonmouth and kill it. That is a fact. When they are swimming in the water, they will have their head down; whereas, a Cottonmouth will keep its head at a 45 degree angle. This is one way to tell them apart when they are in the water. I am from Glascock County, and I am very careful about my snakes.

  4. water snakes says:

    Hey I must agree that Michelle has given a very good method to know whether snake you are confronting is cotton mouth or non harmful water snake. Keeping a vigil will enable us not to kill innocent water snakes.

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