Rattle Snake Spotted Swimming in Folsom Lake

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FOLSOM — It was no stick Cathy Salazar saw floating across Folsom Lake on Sunday.

“Coming out of one of the inlets we saw Mr. Snake,” said Salazar, a Folsom resident.

Salazar’s camera captured a rattlesnake out for a swim. She and her boyfriend were out kayaking Sunday when they spotted the snake. Where? Well, fittingly enough, near Rattle Snake Bar, at the far east end of the lake.

“Just like they’re slithering, through the water. They float. It’s pretty interesting,” Salazar said.

It’s not the only run-in with a rattler documented at Folsom Lake this weekend. Another video was captured by a ranger of a larger snake, making its way across a park road.

“We see peaks in snake bites in the spring, and then it tapers off in the summer, and then we see a peak in the fall,” researcher Mike Caldwell said.

Caldwell is renown rattle snake researcher based in Sacramento. He says this time of year the snakes are out hunting and looking for love. He says in almost every case of snake bites, the rattle snake has been defensive — a person either blundered or barged into the snake’s personal space.

So why did this snake cross the lake?

“We’re not sure why they take to the water, other than sometimes to escape predators. The only time I’ve seen rattle snake swim is to get away from me,” Caldwell said.

“I tried to not get too close, because I didn’t want to disturb it. I just hope it made it all the way across without getting creamed by a boat,” Salazar said.

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