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Looking for a Hellbender

This is a discussion on Looking for a Hellbender within the Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Shotgun, Kentucky saw it's worst drought in years this summer, making surveys particularly accurate as the waterways (and area to ...

Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) This topic covers Cryptobranchids like the hellbender and Asian giant salamanders, as well as sirens, mud puppies, and amphiumas.


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Old 20th November 2008   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

Shotgun,

Kentucky saw it's worst drought in years this summer, making surveys particularly accurate as the waterways (and area to be searched) were dramatically reduced in size. These are not streams where scuba gear is necessary. VERY few streams from which hellbenders were historically known contained any animals. The same is true for Ohio, where only one creek is known to contain a reproducing population, compared to over 20 in the 1980s. The hellbender decline is very real in many parts of their distribution. To claim otherwise is spreading false information.

-Tim



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Old 21st November 2008   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

I can state for a fact that hellbenders were once common in and around the new river here in my part of VA. I have been searching for one (for observation purposes only) for the last five years with no success. I have spoken with many local fishermen as well as local university biologists and the consensus is without a doubt that hellbenders are a rare site in the new river valley these days. I got a report of a sighting nearby last year in one particular area of the river. I went out one day early in the summer and spent hours snorkeling in this spot with no success.
Chip



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Old 21st November 2008   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

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Originally Posted by freves View Post
I can state for a fact that hellbenders were once common in and around the new river here in my part of VA. I have been searching for one (for observation purposes only) for the last five years with no success. I have spoken with many local fishermen as well as local university biologists and the consensus is without a doubt that hellbenders are a rare site in the new river valley these days. I got a report of a sighting nearby last year in one particular area of the river. I went out one day early in the summer and spent hours snorkeling in this spot with no success.
Chip
Chip I have to agree with you 100%. My grandfather tells me all kinds of stories about how they would catch so many of them when they were smallmouth fishing on the New River as kids and even into his early 30's. Catching 2 or 3 a week was the norm back then. Now he says he can't even remember the last time he caught one or even seen one for that matter.

On a side note one of my other relatives did happen to catch one this past summer. Chip if you want the details of where he caught it at I could get the information and send it to you by PM if you would like.



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Old 25th November 2008   #24 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Re: Looking for a Hellbender

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Originally Posted by John View Post
Along with that, it seems you don't know the state of hellbenders in the wild as well as you should if you are considering collecting one.
It would seem how ever that the fool in question has already removed specimins from the wild at some point in the past... and by the looks of the post he made, has no idea of how to keep them properly in the slightest.

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I'm wondering how long that set-up has existed because I think they're going to be VERY disapointed when those climb out.
I keep benders and they can & do try and climb out to excape. I found one on the floor once and about had a cow. When I put it back the other one climbed out righ in front of me. I hope they screen it when they're no doing Maintenance.
A very nice set-up though, I wish I had more room and a contact to buy some of those!



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Old 25th November 2008   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

Honestly this thread just gets me down.



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Old 25th November 2008   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

Quote:
Originally Posted by marco View Post
It would seem how ever that the fool in question has already removed specimins from the wild at some point in the past... and by the looks of the post he made, has no idea of how to keep them properly in the slightest.
Let's try not to make things worse by thinly veiled insults, please.

If you want to argue with Shogun, please keep it civil. He has a better chance of listening to advice, data and scientific hypotheses if they are presented in a logical and non-emotional way than if we go throwing emotionally laden terms and arguments.

Scientific evidence by numerous authorities in many states has shown that many Hellbender populations are on the decline and/or have no juvenile recruitment. With such small populations of apex predators, the removal of a single, sexually mature adult can have major impacts on the population. Just because the removal of the animal is legal does not mean it is ethical or an ecologically wise choice.

I can't imagine that providing a suitable enclosure in captivity is a cheap or easy affair. Re-releasing the animal is also an ecologically unfriendly idea as is release of any offspring produced unless extreme care is taken with appropriate quarantine and other systems that only zoological institutions can provide.



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Old 25th November 2008   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrahm View Post
Let's try not to make things worse by thinly veiled insults, please.
apologies to shotgun.




Last edited by John; 25th November 2008 at 22:48. Reason: Fixed the quote
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Old 26th November 2008   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

well. its a shame this, thread has developed this way, i know Hellbenders are a touchy subject, but i think its gotten a bit beyond this now.

I joined this forum to pass on any knowledge and get a few tips in return and make a few friends in return.

BWSmith i applaude what you are hoping to acheive, and wish you well in your quest.

I am now having second thoughts about posting again, as its just got too personal, such a shame

Maybe this thread could be locked now????


Ben



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Old 26th November 2008   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a Hellbender

I want to apologise to BWSmith for how this thread has turned out. I hope it was at least of some help though.



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