Vidalia taxidermist videos water snake catching a big meal

Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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LITTLE RIVER, La — Lucien Gwin was on his way back to the boat launch on Little River in LaSalle Parish when he saw something he had never seen before. A diamondback water snake had caught a catfish Monday morning, took it to the bank and started eating its lunch. 

Gwin was out on the river close to Catahoula Lake looking for teal ducks during the opening weekend of teal season. He had not seen many birds, but he happened to see the predator catch his prey. 

“I had seen stuff like it on TV before but never in real life. No one else was with me. My whole life, I’ve spent time in the outdoors, and this was a first,” Gwin said. “I watched it hit the fish. The fish started flopping, and I wondered what had happened. I knew something had it. The snake drug it out of the water. I did not think he could swallow it. I watched for about 5 minutes and figured I would leave it alone. He might have let it go if I stuck around.”

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He captured the snake wrapped around the fish in two videos shot on his cell phone. Gwin said he had previously caught a water snake when it latched onto a catfish on a jug line. 

He said as a kid he loved snakes and could tell it was a diamondback water snake instead of a cottonmouth. The best way to tell the difference is by looking at the head and the pattern on the snake. 

Water snakes can get pretty big, he said. His estimation is the snake was seven feet long and is the longest water snake he ever saw. 

Gwin owns Cypress Point Taxidermy in Vidalia. It is a business he started to do 10 years ago. 

“I have not taxidermied any water snakes, but I have done a few rattlesnakes. They are not fun to do,” he said. 

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