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7 Most Snake Infested Lakes in Georgia

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Georgia is home to 46 different snake species, including 6 venomous types. With ample lakes and wetlands, certain areas see more snake encounters than others.

If you plan to boat, swim or fish at the following lakes, be aware of the potential for crossing paths with snakes:

Most Snake Infested Lakes in Georgia

7 Most Snake Infested Lakes in Georgia

Summary of the Most Snake-Infested Lakes in Georgia

Lake Snakes
Lake Hartwell Copperheads, cottonmouths, timber rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnakes, northern water snakes
Lake Lanier Copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, rat snakes, garter snakes, northern water snakes
Lake Oconee Copperheads, cottonmouths, northern water snakes, plain-bellied water snakes
Lake Sinclair Copperheads, cottonmouths, timber rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnakes, water snakes
Lake Allatoona Water snakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, timber rattlesnakes
Lake Blackshear Cottonmouths, copperheads, pygmy rattlesnakes, water snakes
Lake Juliette Cottonmouths, copperheads, canebrake rattlesnakes, water snakes

1. Lake Hartwell

Straddling the Georgia-South Carolina border, Lake Hartwell covers over 56,000 acres with 962 miles of shoreline. This large reservoir sees heavy recreation like boating, fishing, and camping.

With its forested coves and muddy banks, Lake Hartwell has ideal snake habitat. Watch for these snakes:

  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouths
  • Timber rattlesnakes
  • Pygmy rattlesnakes
  • Northern water snakes

Since copperheads blend into leaf litter, be extra cautious on shore. Wear thick boots and pants when hiking. Check boats thoroughly before boarding.

2. Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier is a 38,000 acre reservoir northeast of Atlanta. Its proximity to the metro area makes it extremely popular for boating, swimming, and lakeside living. Over 12 million people visit annually.

Common Lake Lanier snakes include:

  • Copperheads
  • Timber rattlesnakes
  • Rat snakes
  • Garter snakes
  • Northern water snakes

Most are nonvenomous, but watch for copperheads on trails and timber rattlers on rocky banks. Avoid reaching into crevices or underbrush.

3. Lake Oconee

South of Athens, Lake Oconee offers 19,050 acres of water with 374 miles of shoreline. Fishing tournaments and recreation bring many visitors yearly.

Its wilderness provides habitat for these snakes:

  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouths
  • Northern water snakes
  • Plain-bellied water snakes
  • Various nonvenomous species

Use extreme caution around brush and rocks where venomous snakes may hide.

4. Lake Sinclair

Covering over 15,000 acres, Lake Sinclair sits between Milledgeville and Macon. It allows boating, fishing, swimming, and camping on its shores.

However, Lake Sinclair holds:

  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouths
  • Timber rattlesnakes
  • Pygmy rattlesnakes
  • Various water snakes

Carefully inspect boats, docks, and swimming areas. Wear protective footwear when on shore.

5. Lake Allatoona

North of Atlanta, Lake Allatoona spans over 12,000 acres of water. Its swimming beaches and marinas see lots of visitors.

The lake contains high populations of:

  • Water snakes
  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouths
  • Timber rattlesnakes

Closely supervise children, as snakes may lurk near shorelines.

6. Lake Blackshear

Covering over 8,500 acres near Cordele, Lake Blackshear offers boating, fishing, and watersports. However, its wilderness also harbors snakes.

Be vigilant for:

  • Cottonmouths
  • Copperheads
  • Pygmy rattlesnakes
  • Various water snakes

Wear protective shoes and clothing in grassy or wooded areas. Avoid reaching into water without checking first.

7. Lake Juliette

Though smaller at just over 3,600 acres, Lake Juliette still sees lots of recreation near Macon. It also holds cottonmouths, copperheads, and canebrake rattlesnakes.

Key Species Include:

  • Cottonmouths
  • Copperheads
  • Canebrake rattlesnakes
  • Water snakes

Check boats, piers and shorelines closely before approaching. Wear snake-proof boots and gaiters when hiking.

Explore more: The 10 Most Snake Infested Lakes in the United States

How to Avoid Snake Bites at Georgia Lakes?

Venom and Bites

Since venomous snake encounters are a reality, take these precautions:

  • Wear snake-proof boots/gaiters when hiking in brush or near water.
  • Carefully inspect boats, docks, piers before boarding. Check for snakes sunning.
  • Supervise kids closely, keeping them away from tall grass and brush.
  • Leave snakes alone if seen. Do not try to interact with or kill them.
  • Avoid reaching into crevices or hollow logs. Use tools to move debris.
  • Keep pets nearby and leashed outside to avoid exploring brush.
  • Camp in open areas away from heavy vegetation. Keep site clear.

What to Do if Bitten by a Venomous Snake in Georgia?

If you receive a venomous snakebite in Georgia, follow these steps:

  • Stay calm and position yourself below heart level to slow venom flow.
  • Gently wash bite area with soap and water if possible. Do not use ice or constriction.
  • Take a photo of snake if possible, which can help identify proper antivenom.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately – call 911 or get to an ER as fast as possible. Timeliness is critical.
  • Monitor bite for symptoms like pain, swelling, numbness while en route to get help.
  • Keep bitten area immobile while transporting. Remove jewelry/tight clothing near bite.

Seek emergency care right away for the best chance of recovery and neutralizing venom. Do not wait for symptoms to worsen.

5 Key Facts About Venomous Snakes in Georgia

Learn to identify Georgia’s 6 venomous types:

1. Copperheads

How Dangerous Are Copperheads and Corn Snakes?

  • Camouflaged brown coloring with hourglass pattern
  • Found statewide, especially in wooded and rocky areas
  • Cause most venomous snakebites in Georgia
  • Bite requires rapid medical treatment

2. Cottonmouths


  • Often found near water and wetlands
  • Aggressive when cornered or threatened
  • Distinctive white mouth lining
  • Potent venom requires urgent medical care

3. Timber Rattlesnakes


  • Large pit viper up to 5 feet long
  • Make loud buzzing rattle sound as warning
  • Found in wooded areas statewide
  • Inject hemotoxic venom; urgent treatment needed

4. Pygmy Rattlesnakes

Pygmy Rattlesnakes

  • Smaller rattlesnake averaging 1-2 feet long
  • Milder venom than some species
  • Found in pine forests and swamps
  • Require prompt medical care for bites

5. Eastern Coral Snakes

Rundown of the Difference Between Milk Snakes and Coral Snakes

  • Distinctive red, yellow and black banding
  • Small, shy snakes rarely seen
  • Neurotoxic venom can paralyze nervous system
  • Urgent antivenom administration critical

5 FAQs About Snakes in Georgia Lakes

Are there water moccasins in Georgia lakes?

Water moccasins, also called cottonmouths, are found in some Georgia lakes but not all. They tend to occur in southern Georgia.

What snakes are found in Lake Lanier?

Common Lake Lanier snakes include copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, rat snakes, garter snakes and northern water snakes.

When are snakes most active around Georgia lakes?

Snake activity increases in spring and summer as temperatures rise. However, warm days may bring snakes out even in winter.

Are snakes found in water or only on land?

Cottonmouths and some water snakes swim and hunt in the water. But many species prefer terrestrial habitats near water’s edge.

What should I do if I see a snake while swimming?

Exit the water slowly and calmly. Notify others. Do not try to interact with or approach the snake – give it plenty of space instead.

In Conclusion

Georgia’s lakes offer many opportunities for recreation, but also potential snake hazards. Using sensible precautions, protective gear, and awareness can reduce snakebite risks. Learn to identify venomous species. Seek immediate medical care if bitten to halt venom effects. Staying alert allows us to safely enjoy Georgia’s beautiful lakes. Read on Venomoussnake blog!